Archive for the ‘visual art’ Category

AI Image Generators

I like to see examples of using a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to create images. This Person Does Not Exist, for example, features realistic AI-generated human faces. And Janelle Shane’s “AI Weirdness” Web log is consistently entertaining.

The more powerful systems are not available to the public, though as of this writing I’m on a waiting list for one that I’d love to try (DALL·E 2).

But there are more limited applications that can be used by anyone, and they get better all the time. Here are a few of those. For each, I’ve included examples of things that I’ve entered when I tried them.


This application enhances line drawings. However, I think it’s no longer available because it became too popular for the host to afford.

This one produces abstract images based on text prompts. For example:

“a monster coming through your bedroom wall at night”

“a man robbing a candy store”

“who actually greets you when you get to heaven”

This one produces slightly less abstract images. For example:

“a shopping mall flooded with oatmeal”

“fish swimming in cheese dip”

“the most beautiful skeletons travel”

This is a limited version of DALL·E. It also uses text prompts and I find it impressive. For example:

“Robocop fights Ed-209 in a Hieronymus Bosch painting”

“Katamari Damacy as a Katsushika Hokusai woodblock print”

“Katamari Damacy as a Junji Ito drawing”

“Katamari Damacy as a Roger Dean painting”

“Dark Souls birthday party”

“Silent Hill water slide”

“The Exorcist Saturday morning cartoon”


Jim Woodring

Jim Woodring’s comics capture dream atmosphere and logic more effectively than any other I’ve come across (with the possible exception of Jesse Reklaw’s “Slow Wave,” which I would also recommend but which is a little different in that it illustrates dreams submitted by the public).

Most of Woodring’s books involve the adventures of a character named “Frank,” who looks almost like something you’d see in a Disney or Looney Tunes cartoon. But while there are amusing moments, these wordless comics tend toward the phantasmagorical.

For a good introduction to Woodring, I’d look for either “The Frank Book,” a large collection of short stories and other art, or “Weathercraft,” a shorter book that tells a single story.

If you’re already familiar with Woodring, what motivated me to create this post now is a new documentary. The film consists primarily of Woodring discussing his art and his background as he works. I found it fascinating. You can watch it for free online if you’re so inclined.

The Illumination of Jim Woodring from Chris Brandt on Vimeo.

Detail from one of my favorite pieces by Woodring:


Jacek Yerka

Beksiński isn’t my only favorite painter from Poland. Jacek Yerka has a different style, but his work is also nice and surreal.


“New Age Manhattan”

“The City Is Landing”

“The Spring Labyrinth”

“The Express Delivery”

I have a book called “The Fantastic Art of Jacek Yerka.” It’s a nice collection of 21 of his paintings with commentary. From the book:

In the early 1970s, after my struggle with technique and lack of skills, I took off on my uninterrupted cycle of retrospections, dreams, and imaginings. I systematically painted everything of import to me from my early childhood. Some of these paintings have been ready in my head for many years. I knew exactly which one would follow next.

I hold on to one very key principle. Whatever has not been in my own head cannot be allowed to come into my paintings. For me this is a kind of honesty and genuineness I feel I must attach to my work.

Unfortunately, the book seems to be out of print as of this writing. But fortunately, examples of his work are easy to find on the Internet. The artist’s official site includes an extensive gallery.