Pictured: Everyone Deserves Art
About a year ago, an idea emerged from the shadows between a few of my neurons. It drove me to obsession with collecting electronic scraps of bits and bytes from among an infinite number of images. I discovered that in the universe of digital images, I could find almost every fragment of memorabilia I needed to convey a story within and around the subject matter I chose. Sometimes the search to find or create the images I want feels like untangling DNA with chopsticks. In a few cases, like the one above, I needed an aged Mona Lisa, people standing with their backs to the camera, an image of a boy and his dog that would resonate with the elderly man and his dog. Even in a world of infinite images, some images I have in my head have not yet been created.
I create these nonexistent images using artificial intelligence. Although the image above incorporates AI, it is a hybrid of found images and AI-generated images. I give specific direction to the software using very descriptive words about the subject, angles, specific colors, background, lighting, facial expressions, and overall look and feel. AI sends back suggestions, and nine times out of ten the images are completely wrong, so I try other ways to describe the image in my minds eye. I change the wording, move phrases around and try to get the AI to understand the feeling I'm trying to achieve. It can be maddening and literally take hours to get it right.
Once I understand the story that needs to be told and I have the basic pieces to begin telling the story, I start the tedious work of layering them into a cohesive tale. Most of my work contains at least 50-60 layers and twice as many elements.