SFAU # 23, by Eric Wayne. Digital painting, 16X40″ @300 dpi, 6/2018. [click to see in a new tab sized for your monitor.]

If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.), then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like self portraits from alternate universes.

If you didn’t notice, or it isn’t really clear at first, it’s the same person on the left and right, plus or minus 60 or so years. There are some flukes when working with the app and its AI. Sometimes it gets misled, misfires, makes the wrong connection, and that’s when you might get a child or a person of color. The little girl emerged when I fed painting #20 through the app. It’s that same mysterious thing that happened with #21, which is that the neural network didn’t produce these new identities when working from the original photo, but only from my painted version. Look at the three pieces together and you can see they are all from the same source.

The older lady materialized when I fed the girl through the AI. It is unusual to get very old or very young versions of a person, so this is a bit of a double fluke.

I have plenty of other images I’m working from, but this one somehow gave me lots of material.

The girl really looks like a little girl version of me, not so much the older lady. We may take the artificial intelligence for granted here, but it really does produce amazing results, and it was how uncanny they sometimes were that inspired me to start this series. Even I find it difficult to look at this and remember that neither of these people actually exist, or ever existed.

That said, I’m adding much more to it, and the app only makes postage stamp sized images. People who know their 20th century art history might be eating up all the influences and references (Richter, Bacon, Abstract Expressionism, Cindy Sherman, Sophie Derrick, Veruschka, Chuck Close…) which make this obviously a “fine art” image. And just between us, I don’t think anyone has made quite am image like this.

The older woman is a bit creepy and looks like she’s gritting her teeth.

Some wankstain accused that “the machine does all the work”, but the painting process if rather extensive at times, and I’m getting better at some of the more subtle details. In fact, the machine doesn’t do any of that. It’s all manual, and I invented all the techniques I use. There is no tutorial on how to make that thick paint over the top, for example.

I like to experiment and test the boundaries of any medium. When I worked with paint I would sand it off, scrape it, peel it off and apply it in different areas, spray it on, fling it, etc. Here, you can see that in the close ups of the eyes of one of my old paintings from a quarter century ago.

details-of-Fun-House-FeverAaaaand. Here’s the whole painting:

Fun House Fever

Remember folks, because I use the computer I must not know how to paint. You see, the machine does it and “digital painting isn’t painting” (from another jackanapes). I’ll just come out and say it: I have a painting background, I know what painting is, and if you don’t think this double portrait is a “painting”, uuuuh, you miss the whole point of painting, and art [I’m holding back out of politeness]. Of course I’ve always been more of an “ends justify my means” person than someone who thinks the process validates the produce. [Note that the painting above is part of a collection that last I checked was going to be thrown in the garbage. The joy of being an artist includes having all your physical work disposed of because people think it’s shit. You have to have a strong stomach for insult and humiliation. Fun! Fun! Fun!]

One of the first things I’ll want to test is where I can break the rules. I have lots of other things I’m eager to try with this series.

As for the content, I don’t think I have to worry about dangerous misinterpretations like #21, so, I’ll leave it in the non-verbal realm. What is the relationship between the two people?

SFAU #21

What do you think I’ll produce next? I’m guessing you’ll never guess, because I don’t know myself. It’s the unknown that fascinates me. I would never had predicted this image.

Here’s all 23 pieces so far (in chronological order). Just click anywhere in the gallery to go into the screen-show mode.


~ Ends

And if you like the (experimental) sort of art that I do, and you don’t want me to have to quit or put it on a back-burner, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art back on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). Ah, if only I could amass a few hundred dollars per month this way, I could focus entirely on my art and writing. See how it works here.

Or go directly to my account.


Or you can make a small, one time donation to help me keep on making art and blogging (and restore my faith in humanity simultaneously).



One thought on “New Art: Selfies From Alternate Universes # 23

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