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In a next step towards the future of artistic expression, Island Gallery - the new art & design hotspot in The Hague - proudly introduces a groundbreaking exhibition with AI-generated art. This controversial development embraces the evolution of photography and pushes the boundaries of creativity within the diverse portfolio.
In an exclusive interview with the makers, Marianne Ottemann and Daniëlle van Yperen, galerista and curator Mascha Ekkel shares insights into the transformative power of AI art and its impact on the art world.
Marianne: "The evolution of photography with the integration of AI is nothing more or less than 'innovative'; just a new chapter in the creative process. Pushing boundaries with a wider range of tools. Through Promptology and Promtography we witness the emergence of an extra 'photographic eye', powered not only by the lens, but also by prompts, fueling our creativity."
Daniëlle: “When AI 'came into the picture', as an art director and photographer I thought for a moment: oh fuck, there goes my source of income! However, when I dove into DALL-E, my initial fear immediately subsided as the results still left a lot to be desired. However, the quality and supply of new engines grew rapidly. I was completely absorbed in experimenting with, comparing and pushing the limits of the AI Engines; it almost became an obsession. More importantly, I saw how it could enrich my work instead of fearing the unknown.
Ultimately, art starts with a strong concept. Nowadays almost everyone has access to a camera. But there is still a significant difference between someone who merely captures what is in front of them, and a photographer who tells a compelling story through the choice of angles, use of light, framing, etc. The same can be said for text-to-image AI. You can throw a bunch of words into a tool and maybe get a visually appealing image. But a real work of art tells a story, inspires, repulses, enlightens, angers, makes you feel emotions that go beyond just an aesthetically pleasing image.”
Marianne: "Initially, retouching, with tools such as Photoshop, was a separate part of creating an image. AI is an integral part of the total process. Imperfections and editing choices become part of a broader creative story. It seems like having an invaluable employee in the studio. An assistant who offers new insights and capabilities. It is a medium where thoughts and clues come together to create images that transcend reality and free us from (traditional) limitations.
My curiosity about the possibilities of this has quickly developed into an enormous fascination. The addition of AI creates a completely new dimension. It's as if my imagination suddenly comes to life on screen. Not with just one push of a button. After many months of experimenting with AI, it seems that the computer is starting to understand my tastes, wishes and preferences. So it requires more than just that one push of a button. What is real and what is not real, does that matter or does it not matter? The AI makes you think about what matters to you. It is a journey of discovery with many side paths, which ultimately leads to the destination where I want to be."
Daniëlle: "For me, AI is just another tool that I can use to tell a story, transport the viewer to new worlds, evoke emotions and, above all, express the ideas, visions and stories that are in my head 24/7 present. I don't just throw a few words into Stable Diffusion, Dall-E or Mid Journey. It all starts with an idea that takes shape in my mind and requires a lot of adjustment and refinement to manifest as an image. Moreover, I do not limit myself to AI image generators; I often combine them with photo editing software and/or traditional photography and even use paint and brushes."
Together: "Fortunately, we are now hearing more positive feedback, but there is still some concern and fear about the use and copying of their work. We understand that, but copying art in different forms is nothing new. For a long time, private individuals could have portraits made in the style of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Warhol or any other artist. Many artists, both contemporary and classical, have been inspired by other artists or art forms. We know that the same applies to the artists who have their work exhibited at Island Gallery in The Hague."
Mascha: “Art, even with AI, is still the conscious creation of something beautiful or meaningful using skill and imagination. That remains the starting point and what I logically embrace as a curator. And by the way, with one of the curated AI works of art, I also show that the software still leaves much to be desired... History has shown that old and new art forms can coexist and even evolve into more inspiring visual art. That's what I show our visitors!”
Island Gallery's 'EXPO NO.3 – THE ONE FOR THE ROYALS – Three cheers to monarchies & dynasties', with the (AI-generated) affiche 'The Girl with the Delft Blue dress on her throne', is on show until the end of December.