Avant Gallery to Display Tim Tadder’s AI Artwork Finzione Da Vinci

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Renowned photographer Tim Tadder continues to champion AI art with Finzione da Vinci, his modern interpretation of the Mona Lisa.

Finzione Da Vinci (AI Mona Lisa)

Photo Credit: Tim Tadder

Tadder will unveil his creation at Avant Gallery’s booth at the forthcoming Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair, March 23-26, 2023.

With Finzione da Vinci (AI Mona Lisa), Tadder offers a challenge to the future of art. What does this new technology have to offer for art? For society?

In order to generate art, AI models are trained on countless images of all kinds in order to familiarize themselves with our visual culture. Its programming seeks out the mathematical principles underlying the various styles and subjects. It finds the unspoken similarities between the things we consider beautiful, and it recapitulates these hidden aesthetic laws to produce new images on command.

The process is not so unlike the revolution in art we call the Renaissance. Its leading master, Leonardo da Vinci, worked out the mathematical proportions of the human body, studied the optics to uncover the secrets of his sfumato, and dissected cadavers to rebuild his models from the bones up. This analytic fervor found its apotheosis in the capstone of the Italian Renaissance — the Mona Lisa. It was as much a scientific as artistic achievement, the culmination of so much study, so much formulae.

In fact, some scholars believe the key work of the Renaissance to be a finzione — not a portrait of a real, living woman but the product of Leonardo’s imagination, just like this AI version.

Now, Tadder takes this same approach, recontextualized in the high-tech present which continues to push toward the future.

His generated Mona Lisa is covered in a pastel rainbow, a 21st century Pied Piper. Behind her synthetic beauty and exquisite rendering is the conjurer itself, as if she stands in for the coming wave of AI, becomes its face. Rather than satisfy himself as a prophet of this dawning age, Tadder puts the wolf in sheep’s clothing, reminding us that whatever AI will do to the world, however it will reorient human life, it will be so easy to let it in.

In 2023, we laugh at the mangled fingers and melting eyes that come out of AI art generators. We forget that the early Renaissance masters had their own trouble with depicting hands, with getting faces just right. But then, one day, it all clicks in the mind of a master like Leonardo.

For himself, Tadder has always worked in the interplay between art and technology. He was one of the first fine art photographers to go digital. His photographs revel in high technique, creating crisp, surreal worlds that shimmer with all the possibilities of the process tools computer technology has given us.

But now, the computer steps into the generation of images. No longer do we have to turn to Photoshop to tweak our picture. We can simply type out our demands, and in moments a new work of art is born. It’s art reduced to essence: the idea alone is the connection between the creator and the created.

Even now, AI is destroying our notions about the value and meaning of art, the role of the artist. Whether this excites or frightens, it doesn’t matter. There is no stopping it. But for now, even if for only a moment, Tadder’s Finzione da Vinci (AI Mona Lisa) allows us to pause and reflect on this coming wave — even look it in the face.

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