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Old 04-08-2016, 07:20 PM   #1
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Joined: Dec 2001
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The Next Rembrandt

The Next Rembrandt

Australian brick laying robot video - 1:37:


Copy writing Algorithm article:


The following sports story was written by a machine. Can you tell?
“Tuesday was a great day for W. Roberts, as the junior pitcher threw a perfect game to carry Virginia to a 2-0 victory over George Washington at Davenport Field.

Twenty-seven Colonials came to the plate and the Virginia pitcher vanquished them all, pitching a perfect game. He struck out 10 batters while recording his momentous feat. Roberts got Ryan Thomas to ground out for the final out of the game.

Tom Gately came up short on the rubber for the Colonials, recording a loss. He went three innings, walked two, struck out one, and allowed two runs.

The Cavaliers went up for good in the fourth, scoring two runs on a fielder's choice and a balk.”
The link above to the article discussing the copy writing algorithm closes with the following:

"Let me close with this: don’t panic.

Machines might take over every single dirty, dangerous, dull, and decision-making task in the world, but you can and will adapt.

That’s what makes you a human.”

Dirty, dangerous, dull” what percentage of the world’s jobs fall into these categories? “But you can and will adapt.” This seems good advice for the bright, imaginative, well resourced, less than middle aged individual. What about the ill-prepared, the middle-aged, or the any-aged dumb ass?

These copy writing algorithms are first cousin to the robot brick laying machine. Both are robbers of opportunity for humans. And not just for the human manual laborer placing bricks all day in the sun, this now goes to those humans working in air conditioned cubicles.

And now, coming closer to home, comes the 3D printer and “The Next Rembrandt.”


I have been asked many times: Why should I pay for a painting when I can make my own photograph? I can make an argument against this kind of thinking (you can reference one such argument below); however, with this new technology my logic is being taxed more and more.

I think the only question is – how much time is left?


A person unknown to me emailed me out of the blue and asked this question:

"I'm writing to ask if you could forward information explaining the aesthetic value of an oil portrait, as compared to a photograph of the subject. In other words, what is it about an oil portrait that elevates and justifies its higher price?"

Dear Sir,

Given the fact that there are lousy photographs, as well as bad painted portraits, I speak here only of quality work.

As you probably know people have been taking photographs for well over a hundred years, and yet, during that time the photograph has done little to replace the painted portrait as one of the highest forms of human expression.

There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that a photograph is the product of a mechanical device done in a split second. The hundredth copy is just as good as the original. Anyone with a finger and quality equipment can snap off a dozen in a tenth of a minute. A photo is a recording, a documentation of an individual. This comes in handy for all manner of projects such as passports, yearbooks, weddings and the like. If what you want is documentation then a photo fits the bill very well.

A painted portrait, however, is much more. A painted portrait is at its least a hand made original, a one of a kind. But it’s more; it is the sitter as seen and recorded painstakingly through the artist’s eye. In these modern times, for a variety of reasons, an artist will use a quality photograph as inspiration for his work. Such was the case with the famous painting of JFK by Aaron Shikler. As in this case a skilled artist breathed life into the image and took it many measures beyond the ordinary.

I would, however, distinguish between those artists who merely render a photographic finish to their painting. In my humble opinion this style leaves me wondering – why the effort?

Maybe you’ve had the privilege of seeing really great art in a museum. On more than one occasion I’ve stood before a great work of art and marveled at the energy, the intelligence and the skill that was brought to bear. These great works of art (and many are being created today) are magnificent human achievements that will last for hundreds of years. At their very best they capture the likeness of a fortunate individual and surround them in splendid artistic expression.

At our Ringling museum in Sarasota we have a pastel portrait of Marie Antoinette which was created in the late 1700’s just before the sitter lost her head to the French revolution. I get all wobbly standing before this painting that was once touched by Marie Antoinette and executed (maybe an unfortunate word) by one of the great portraitists of her time, Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun. I don’t believe a photograph can evoke this kind of emotional response. It is human to human, without the cold calculus of mechanical intervention.

I don’t deny that some photographers bring an artful expression to their work. I love photography and marvel at what the camera can do in competent hands. I myself do my level best to create artful images through my photography, but from one who has sought to do both, I can tell you that a good photograph will always bow down to a painted portrait. This is borne out every day in auction houses all over the world. At this level the greater aesthetic will always be reflected in dollars spent.

Unlike a photograph a painted portrait is much more a human labor, such a thing that is grown up organically from the mind and spirit of the artist. Ask any portrait artist and they will tell you of the eyes, mouths, and noses that have been painted, wiped off and repainted time and again because their effort was deemed wanting by two percent. Is their no value in the months, and in some cases years of effort? In most cases the artists barely receive a minimum hourly wage for their effort. In many cases their prices are argued down like a sack of onions at a street market.

There will always be those who cannot comprehend the difference between a photograph and a painted portrait. There will always be those who know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. As you can see you’ve touched on a subject that is near and dear to me.
Mike McCarty
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