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Dutch painter Johannes Vermeir's 1665 masterpiece, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, is controversial.
Recently, the Mauritshuys Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, loaned Vermeir's original work to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, and it was controversial after it was revealed that one of them was drawn by AI, AFP news agency reported on 10 March (local time).
The AI-drawn painting gives a foreign feeling, with jewelry hanging in the ear glowing like an LED bulb.
The local art world has been embroiled in a fierce debate over whether AI's work belongs to art and whether it deserves to be included in the museum alongside other historic masterpieces.
When Julian vandiken, a creator based in Berlin, Germany, heard that the Mauritshuys Museum was holding an exhibition of works based on a girl with pearl earrings, she submitted her AI-powered painting "The Girl with Shining Earrings."
Based on millions of related images on the Internet, he completed his work by entering the prompts he thought of in the image-generating AI "Midjourney."
The image editing program Photoshop was also used.
The museum displayed 3 of the 482,170 works received in digital format in the exhibition room where the original works were, and selected only five of them, including those submitted by Pandicon, and hung them as physical (printed copies).
Fandican shared his sentiments on his Instagram, saying, "It was surreal to see my work in the museum."
However, some in the Dutch art world have been heavily criticized for the exhibition.
Artist Iris Kompit shot back in an interview with local media, saying it was "an insult to Fermeir's legacy as well as to the artists at work," adding, "I felt like I had been slapped in the face as I walked out of the museum."
He devalued AI tools as infringing on the copyrights of other artists, and that the paintings themselves felt Frankenstein-like.
However, Boris Dummnik, director of public affairs at the museum, explained, "It's a controversial work, and people are divided in favor of it," but "the people who selected it liked it even though they knew it was created by AI, so they chose it."
Commenting on Fandicon's submission, he said, "The freckles look a little spooky up close," but "we agree that this is a great picture and a creative process."
"What is art and what is not art is a very difficult question," he said, adding, "Young people say AI is new, but older people say they prefer traditional painting."