We have an old joke: “Should you take medication if you have a cold?” “Absolutely! If you don’t take any, it will take 7 days until you get well again. If you take some, you’ll be back on your feet after 1 week.”
Well, it took me more than 2 weeks to stay in bed so I can’t show much news today. First of all, perhaps a work that I haven’t presented yet and that reflects the attempt to “come back into the light”.
When, as in this case due to illness, I observe international developments in almost all areas, from politics, economy, culture, and society more closely than usual, it significantly dampens my desire to paint.
For this reason, my “extra” is a little longer this time.
extra: 3 AI sessions
Session One: Portrait of a Girl
After seeing some of the usual pointless, turgid, histrionic examples that we commonly encounter I quickly realized that AI was not an image-creation option for me. At the same time, I also wanted to try out what I could achieve with it, and what this technology means for my approach to art.
My first attempt was based on a portrait I painted during my time in Beijing. A job that hardly anyone except me likes. Chinese girls liked having their portraits taken by me and felt flattered. Until they were disappointed when they saw the finished pictures, which did not correspond to the taste in China at the time. But I was quite happy with it then, as I had just begun to paint much more freely than before, and in this work, I had captured the resemblance and spirit to the friend I was painting quite well. The photos I had of her as a person were lost at some point, and for fun I tried to capture her face more naturalistically using an AI-supported graphics program. On my second attempt, I held my breath because she seemed to look at me like she was in a photo. I then continued playing without paying any further attention to the aspect of similarity and concentrated on aspects of aesthetics or colors. At some point #3 came out, which has some interesting aspects for me.
Session Two: Portrait of a Young Monk
Some time later I started working on another picture, a portrait of a young monk. Until now I had only worked with “Paint”, a free program on my PC, and had no experience with better programs. The exploration of a slightly better graphics tool in conjunction with an AI-supported program captivated me. The result was 5-6 series with different tasks.
Session Three: Untitled
When you’re confined to bed, it gets a little boring after a few days. This period also saw a new escalation in the eternal Middle East conflict I have been following since the first Intifada. The more I think about it, the more absurd and complicated the situation appears to me. For example, this region is the birthplace of three religions that have hated each other for ages. But above all, in the 21st century, we still work with thought patterns and concepts from ancient times and cling to these concepts like flies to a pot of honey.
At some point, I felt compelled to try something on this topic. Which isn’t easy with such a charged topic. We all have our opinions on this and, no matter how different they may be, we sure are all aware of the explosiveness and explosive power of this eternal conflict that meanwhile dominates half the globe in one way or the other. Issues like these have the potential to become an arena for simmering social and political tensions of all kinds that are not directly related to the source of the crisis. The developments of the last week give a foretaste of what is possible. Once “on the street”, it can increase in intensity, which is something we all don’t hope for.
So in trying to address this topic, I didn’t want to comment on current politics or partisanship and I don’t want to comment on it any further.
Meanwhile, hardly anyone can distinguish between what is fact and what is propaganda, or which forces want or will benefit from what.
As in the previous series, all individual works are based on a single portrait, which I altered by using various programs, including an AI-supported one. In terms of composition, it is based on an Enso, which, thanks to its circular shape, can symbolize, among other things, the path of life. I didn’t use written prompts for this, just graphic programs.