Are the “Old Masters” making way for something completely new in the art world?
That’s the idea behind a painting produced with artificial intelligence (AI) called Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, created by a Paris-based collective of artists, friends, and AI researchers called OBVIOUS. The collective’s goal: Explain and democratize advances in AI and machine learning through artworks.
Even to the trained eye, at first glance, you might easily assume that the Edmond de Belmay portrait was completed by a well-trained artist. That’s until you locate the artist’s signature in the lower right-hand corner of the painting, which reads:
That’s right. It’s not a person, but rather the formula that made up the algorithm that generated the painting, based on the analysis of more than 15,000 portraits from Old Masters of the 14th century to modern artists of the 20th century. The algorithm created the image based on the difference between its own work and the originals in the data set.
The piece has critics and collectors in the art world abuzz. In fact, the work recently sold for more than $400,000 USD at a Christie’s auction in New York City. See it with your own eyes below:
To see more AI-generated portraits from the OBVIOUS collection, check out their online art gallery, which features more members of the fictitious de Belamy family.