The Hungry
The Makercast
What in the (Art) World is THIS?

What in the (Art) World is THIS?

Welcome to the Hungry Artist Broadcast, Episode 1

As promised, this is the very first edition of the Hungry Artist Broadcast, where I give you my thoughts about the latest editions but in audio format.

This episode and the next few episodes are going to be public for everyone, but starting July 1st, I’m putting the audio behind the golden curtain, making them available only to the Makers.

If you enjoy this episode/edition, make sure to upgrade today.

Prince and Elvis Enjoying Tea in Warhol’s Mind - Midjourney v.5.1

Warhol, Dali, and KAWS walk into a courtroom...

Five stories popped into my feed this week:

  1. Why Salvador Dali is the most faked artist in the world

  2. Supreme Court ruled Andy Warhol violated a photographer’s copyright on an image of Prince

  3. KAWS wins lawsuit over counterfeit works

  4. New York Art Advisor Lisa Schiff Files for Bankruptcy

    1. This one continues a previous story where Lisa Schiff is accused of running a Ponzi scheme against her art investor clients.

It strikes me that all of these stories are based on legacy artwork. Still, when I read them, I couldn’t help but think about the future of intellectual property in a world filled with A.I. everything (art, writing, video, photography).

AI-generated image of a “middle eastern woman with green eyes” using Midjourney 5.1

I made the image above in Midjourney with a clear intent to mimic Steve McCurry’s iconic photo for National Geographic. It’s obviously not the same image, but it’s close enough that people could make the inference of my intention.

The question I have is what recourse does McCurry have in this situation. My intent is clear, but what if someone else was asking MidJourney to create an image of a beautiful Middle Eastern woman without any knowledge of the otherwise well-known image, and this was the result? Who is culpable, and would McCurry even be able to do anything about it?

I’m certain Midjourney’s legal team has come up with plenty of ways to push back against any claims of impropriety, but am I protected if Midjourney served me this image without knowing the source of the content? I know ignorance is not a defense, but did Midjourney set me up to fail? Furthermore, what can McCurry do when he struggles to prove that this image was absolutely created using his photograph as a reference?

two ai generated images mimicking the iconic image of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square after WWII
Are these Midjourney images considered fair use?

To be clear, I know just enough about intellectual property to be dangerous to most, and you should never consider anything I say as advice. I don’t know how this will all play out in the future, but I anticipate we’ll see many more legal cases in the wake of the rampant and potentially careless use of AI-generated art.

Personally, I believe that A.I. art has its place in the world, although I don’t know what that means just yet (and collectively, we probably won’t like the answers). So I play around with it often more out of personal exploration than anything else. Nevertheless, I’m watching with an almost morbid curiosity about its impact on the creative world.

I don’t know if there have been any court cases with artists claiming revenue loss due to A.I., but being such a new legal territory, I get the feeling it will be sticky for a long time. However, I feel the case against the Warhol Estate might be creating an exciting precedent for the future, and we should all pay close attention to it.

Tasty: Juan Carlos Madrid

Juan Carlos got me feeling all kinds of things right now. His work is brand new to me, but I felt compelled to share it as soon as I saw it. I’m also slightly upset because he’s doing work I would have loved to do but didn’t know how. This one above is the tip of the proverbial palette knife.


Small Bites

  • Sticking to the legal tip, Artrepeneur asks, “Is it legal for street photographers to of people?” But, again, the answer is muddy.

  • Artist camouflages his television in a vintage frame and easel. I wonder how long it will be before he stubs his toe on that thing—I can’t be the only one.

  • One of my all-time favorite graphic designers is releasing his third monograph, and it’s only been 30 years since the last one. He also has thoughts to share about A.I.

  • Ryan Newburn makes spelunking in ice caves look sexy (but it still gives me anxiety).

  • Printify has a very new podcast talking with successful print-on-demand businesses (mostly Etsy-related so far).

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Drool over these vintage Japanese boom boxes.

The Hungry
The Makercast
Sharing stories and insights that help creative people speak more confidently about their work, share with intention, and get straight with their beliefs around art and money.
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Dave Conrey