STiCH and its Basquiat-inspired art

An AI start-up launched a machine called STiCH that made works of Basquiat-inspired art.

STiCH is an “artist, machine, design researcher and artist intelligence” according to Urbancoolab, its creator. The AI machine spent over 700 hours learning the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat to produce a series of art in the late artist’s style (or an adaption of it).

For me, the results are derivative and closer to mediocre Picasso than anything else. Basquiat’s work and style had specific meaning and context—his life, surroundings, and, most importantly, his Blackness. AI could never replicate that because it’s AI and using Basquiat for this was a bad idea.

“Our team met the challenge to see how an AI machine with no emotion can learn to express itself with gestural abstraction while remaining to be visually intuitive. We’re focusing on Basquiat as his work continues to inspire others, and his message continues to be relevant. There would be nothing more incredible than to have Basquiat’s work continue. His conceptual and aesthetic appeal will always remain strong because of the inherent emotional depth and power it communicates.”

Quote from Urbancoolab founder Idris Mootee via Creative Boom

There was no malice in this, I’m sure, but it’s tiring to see Basquiat recreations in AI or yet more of his work selling for millions at Christie’s.

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