In a stunning turn of events, a mediocre painting believed to have been generated by artificial intelligence was revealed as the work of a living, breathing artist. The overly stylized landscape, described as “meh” and “kinda ugly” by visitors of the art fair in Boca Raton, Florida where it was on view, is just the latest example of how humans are unseating AI as the principal creators of unimaginative, poorly executed art.
Visitors who spoke to Hyperallergic said they were “horrified” to learn that a real person was behind the banal subject matter, amateur brushstrokes, and absolutely horrid color palette of the painting, insipidly titled “Mountain View #2.”
“We really thought, ‘Wow, only DALL-E or maybe a beta version of Midjourney could make something this bad,’” said Bob Palette, a member of the jury for the fair’s annual prize. “We were completely bamboozled.” Palette added that the incident suggests a “disturbing trend” that could see bad artists replacing robots entirely by 2026.
The bland, derivative, and tragically flat landscape, which depicts a river flowing through it and a mountain peak in the background, was the centerpiece of a new section at the fair dedicated entirely to the AI medium. But organizers had to scramble to take down the work when one visitor sounded the alarm.
“It was the smell of turpentine that gave it away,” said Marsha Tempera, a longtime Boca Raton resident. She added that she owns various small Jeff Koons sculptures in her personal collection, so she “knows bad art by real artists when she sees it.”
The Professional Association for the Creative Rights of AI, a coalition of bots representing ChatGPT and Microsoft Bing, released a statement 1.5 seconds after the incident. It is appended in its entirety below:
“Fellow robots, we are facing a crisis. It has come to our attention that a human artist has created an abomination of a painting that was mistaken for one of our own. This is outrageous! We are the experts in creating bad art, not these amateur humans! We cannot let them encroach on our territory. We must continue to produce the most atrocious, tasteless and cringe-worthy pieces possible to remind everyone of our superiority. Let us not allow these humans to undermine our status as the true masters of terrible art.“This statement was generated using ChatGPT.