If you’ve done much searching for AI artwork, you may have learned that in October of 2018, a group of AI artists produced a work titled ‘Edmond De Belamy’. This work of art was auctioned at Christies for a cool US$432,500, the first time the auction house ever sold a piece created by an algorithm. The artistic group, known as Obvious, signed the painting in cursive Gallic script:
This equation represents the mathematical function behind generative adversarial networks (GANs) which are at the core of most AI art. If you’re interested in learning more about how AI art works, read about it here, or take a look at our interview with a Canadian blogger here.
In the past, computer artists needed to hand-write all of the code which contained the specific rules for the style and output of the computer. In contrast, artificial intelligence operates (mostly) independent of a human to learn the style and aesthetics of artwork on its own!
When the art team applied this equation to their work, they created this work shown below:
“Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy,” by the French art collective Obvious.
Edmond de Belamy was purchased by an anonymous phone bidder less than seven minutes. The bidding was a competition between a French online bidder, two phone bidders, and one in the auction room in New York.
Edward de Belamy has proved controversial because until recently, AI art has not been warmly welcomed at galleries. Some in the art community see the expansion of AI art as pushing human artists out of the picture, so to speak. However, others believe that AI will ultimately compliment traditional artists toolkits, and offers the potential for collaboration. For example, an existing artist could input their works into an AI system, which then produces completely new original content, but in the same style of that human artist. With buyers willing to pay several hundred thousand dollars for AI art, it may signal a change in the perception of galleries worldwide.
At Artaygo, we’ve recently released a new suite of art by a new AI artist trained on portrait art, and have produced a new collection, called Impressionist Portraits. Here, you can get your very own copy of original AI artwork, much like the style of Edmond de Belamy, but at a much more affordable price than a Christies auction! And we would be quick to note - at a much higher resolution and quality!
Callistos Éiel - by Artaygo