Has AI art arrived?
The robots may have found their Rembrandt, said Eileen Kinsella in Artnet.com. In what Christie’s of New York billed as the first auction of art created by artificial intelligence, a blurry portrait sold to an anonymous phone bidder last week for $432,500—43 times the auction house’s presale estimate. Created by a collective of three Paris artists who call themselves Obvious, Portrait of Edmond de Belamy was generated by a software program that had been fed images of 15,000 portraits from across seven centuries. The purchase would be crazy enough if the work truly had been a first, said Jerry Saltz in NYMag.com. “What makes this sale totally bogus” is that other images have been made by other people using the same algorithms, and the same code developed by a 17-year-old West Virginian. To label it something new is “a flat-out lie” and opens the doors for other hype-driven shenanigans. “Mission accomplished, Christie’s.” ■
November 2, 2018 THE WEEK