‘This Painting Could Be the Future’: Artist Jonathan Harris on Why His Viral Image ‘Critical Race Theory’ Struck a Chord Around the Globe

Powerful, beautiful painting. The future is here, it’s just not what we imagined.


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ― Scott Adams

Yellow Pants

Painting by Lisi-Tana in my office.

from the post Backstage in Saratoga – 02020-02-06:

Yellow | Ottmar Liebert (02020-02-04):

We live in turbulent times and I was tempted to record an album of sad, sad music and wear only black clothes. But I remembered a study that found that most people WILL feel happier after they smile. So I made an album that’s upbeat and which makes me smile every time I listen to it. And so I am wearing color, like these yellow pants, because they make me smile. And because most people wear dark colors in turbulent times these pants were on sale for only $25. So I got my smile for cheap.

Know the Difference

Sant Santana
I came across this image that was sent to me four years ago. I don’t know who drew this. I do know that it would make a fine seasonal postcard.

Art In The Age Of Optimization

Art In The Age Of Optimization – by Dan Sheehan:

In fact, fans love to tout AI art’s accessibility, saying that now anyone can be an artist. Unsurprisingly, this claim seems more focused on art as a product than it is on art as a practice. And that love of accessibility does not seem to extend to social services, public spaces, or anything beyond the automation of skill based professions.


So the company line becomes, “we want art to be for everyone,” while the obvious goal remains the same as every other big tech attempt at optimization: to make money. No one truly believes that the goal here is to make art better or more accessible, right? Are people actually looking at this stuff and feeling like they’re at the dawn of a new age rather than the beginning of the end? The ideal outcome for these companies is to provide a service that makes it so that when some tech guy needs an image of an astronaut looking at the moon to promote his new NFT, he doesn’t have to talk to (or more importantly: pay) anyone to get it. Like the vast majority of silicon valley’s latest contributions to the world, the only thing this seeks to actually optimize is exploitation. So why does everyone seem so excited about it?

I added the emphasis.

Please read the entire post. I think it is brilliant.


This evening I have been reading about artists whose work was used to train AI, often against their express wishes, and sometimes in the guise of being an homage. There is a long list of them. Here is a link to one of the articles I read. My conclusion is that as long as we don’t teach art in our schools, there will be no appreciation for the work of artists. There is a human need for expression. We are the animal of stories and art. If this expression is not guided and trained and shown a path of practice and growth, then people will resort to technology to express themselves, whether that’s by creating AI facsimiles of art, or otherwise finding ways to do what they have not been taught.