This is how the AI image generator Dall-E reimagined Grant Wood's "American Gothic" (1930) (all images courtesy Dall-E)

This spooky season is a special time, as it is the first spooky season with the widespread ability for the public to generate AI (artificial intelligence) imagery from simple text prompts. As previously noted, AI generators trend creepy on their best days, so what will happen if we use them to spookily revisit some contemporary and art historical landmark moments? Perhaps we stand at the precipice of releasing another internet cryptid, a la Loab.

One thing is for sure: It will be goddamn creepy — though it may be said, on occasion no creepier than the baseline reality of life in the art world.

For starters, I prompted DALL-E to contemplate “Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World but she’s hiding from Michael Meyers” to which it replied with images that are a great way to stay awake for the rest of your life.

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World but she’s hiding from Michael Meyers.”

Many an art historian and Louvre patron has wondered what the Mona Lisa hides behind her enigmatic smile. I suggested to DALL-E that perhaps she is a picture of Dorian Gray, and, you know, it’s pretty upsetting.

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Mona Lisa as a the Picture of Dorian Gray.”

Are you afraid of this “girl with a pearl earring as a ghost”? What if I told you that THERE WAS NOTHING THERE WHEN WE TOOK THE PICTURE???

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Girl With a Pearl Earring as ghost.”

As my friend Meredith Yayanos likes to say, fame is a wasting disease of the soul, and nothing drives that point better than “death in the style of Andy Warhol”

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Death in the style of Andy Warhol”

But there is one nightmare almost too grim for mortal contemplation, a vision that haunts even the waking hours of every critic. I speak, of course, of Jeff Koons’s balloon dogs. But what if it were even somehow worse?

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Jeff Koons scary clown sculpture.”

Am I the only one who thinks these “Alex Katz paintings of Dracula” are a lit series and need to be serialized immediately? The only thing scary is how fast I’d buy one on a t-shirt.

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Alex Katz paintings of Dracula.”

In a funny plot twist, “Hieronymous Bosch Halloween” is actually much more toned-down and friendly-seeming than the original paintings, so sometimes there’s nowhere to go but up!

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Hieronymous Bosch Halloween.”

Of course, if you want to face true horror, let’s talk about climate change, with a serving of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” in the mix.

DALL-E image with the prompt: “Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in a climate disaster.”

Haha, we’re all going to die!

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit — including at the Detroit Institute of Arts....