Impossible Van Gogh Paintings

This virtual exhibition features "impossible" paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, described as such for two reasons: one, they are all created with artificial intelligence art apps (AI art generators) and therefore are not real Van Gogh paintings, and two, they all depict activities that would have been impossible during Van Gogh's lifetime (1853-1890), such skateboarding, playing Nintendo Switch, using a cellphone, riding a motorcycle, and more.

Scroll down for more information and to see larger, individual images of each AI art work featuring Van Gogh's style.


installation view of impossible Van Gogh paintings created with AI art generators

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Not only are all of these Van Gogh paintings created using AI art generators, but the room interior is as well. The one aspect of this show that is an exception that involves human control is that Artsology first generated the individual paintings, but used Photoshop to place them in this virtual space. So in that sense, Artsology acted as a human curator of AI art in an AI environment.

Why do any of this? From an art historical perspective, it's fun to imagine how Van Gogh might have painted scenarios in the future using his easily identifiable style. Would have Van Gogh liked skateboarding? Would have Van Gogh ridden a motorcycle? Nobody knows, but it's fun to imagine.

Van Gogh painting of two kids skateboarding created with an AI art generator

Two Kids Skateboarding, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since skateboards were invented long after Van Gogh's lifetime.

Van Gogh painting showing Vincent eating pizza, created with AI art generators

Van Gogh Eating Pizza, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since we're guessing there weren't many opportunities to eat pizza in Arles in the 1880s, and there are no known paintings of pizza by Van Gogh.

Van Gogh painting showing Van Gogh driving a motorcycle, created with AI art generators

Van Gogh Riding A Motorcycle, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since the first motorcycle was invented in Germany in 1885 and it's unlikely that Van Gogh ever had a chance to ride one before his death in 1890. We certainly know he didn't paint any motorcycles.

Van Gogh painting of a car created with an AI art generator

A Car By Van Gogh, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since this appears to be a Ford Model A, which wasn't introduced until 1928, about 38 years after Van Gogh died.

A Van Gogh self portrait on motorcycle painting created with AI art generators

Self Portrait on Motorcycle, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since we know he never painted a motorcycle, and it's questionable whether he even knew of their existence. He looks pretty cool on it, though, don't you think?

Van Gogh on his cellphone, a virtual painting created with an AI art app

Self Portrait with Cell Phone, an Impossible Van Gogh painting for obvious reasons, I don't think we even need to explain this one. It's fun to imagine how he might have used his phone creatively, and who knows - maybe even played around with AI art apps ...?

Van Gogh painting, a self portrait eating pizza, created with an AI art generator app

Van Gogh Eating Pizza in NYC, an Impossible Van Gogh painting made just for fun - imagining Vincent walking around New York City looking for the perfect slice!

A AI-generated Van Gogh painting showing him playing a Nintendo Switch created with an artificial intelligence art app

Van Gogh Playing Nintendo Switch, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since video games certainly didn't exist in the late 1800s. We wonder what he would have thought about the graphics and visual aspects of video games?

A Van Gogh painting of a Self Portrait as an astronaut, created with an AI art text prompt generator

Self Portrait As Astronaut, an Impossible Van Gogh painting since astronauts and the reality of space travel didn't exist until later in the 20th Century.

A fake Van Gogh painting showing sunflowers in a skull vase, created with a text-prompted AI art generator

Sunflowers in Skull Vase, an Impossible Van Gogh painting only in the sense that he never painted sunflowers in a skull. This one was just an exercise in using AI technology to do a slight twist on a common Van Gogh theme of sunflowers.

Some of these seem more like Van Gogh's actual style than others, but I guess this shows the range of AI art apps. A variety of different AI art generators were used, but all of them were text-prompt art generators, meaning that I entered a description of what I wanted, and then waited to see what the art generator would come up with.

If you'd like to see more of my experiments with artificial intelligence art apps, check out this selection of Artsology Blog posts about AI Art.

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