An AI-Generated Painting Wins Art Contest, Annoys Artists

Published in
4 min readSep 12, 2022


Théâtre d’Opéra Spatial (Image credit: Jason Allen)

Mr. Jason M. Allen entered his AI-generated artwork into Colorado State Fair’s art competition and won first place in the Digital Arts/Digitally Manipulated Photography category. The situation is generating fiery debate about AI and art on Twitter.

His piece of art “Théâtre d’Opéra Spatial” is generated with an AI called Midjourney . As stated on their website Midjourney is an independent research lab exploring new mediums of thought and expanding the imaginative powers of the human species.

Midjourney is basically a research lab that produces an artificial intelligence program that creates images from textual descriptions.

He created 100s of images using it and after weeks of improvement process through minor alteration or revision, he chose the top three. He then upscaled them using GigaPixel AI, printed them on canvas, and submitted them to the competition in early August.

But when Allen posted about the win on Midjourney Discord server and prompted lively discussions on Twitter, Reddit, and the Midjourney Discord server.

(Image credit: Jason Allen)

TL;DR — Someone entered an art competition with an AI-generated piece and won the first prize. Yeah that’s pretty fucking shitty — Genel Jumalon on Twitter

An artist Genel Jumalon said in a tweet about Allen’s win.

We’re watching the death of artistry unfold right before our eyes — if creative jobs aren’t safe from machines, then even high-skilled jobs are in danger of becoming obsolete What will we have then? — OmniMorpho on Twitter

Some replied to the tweet that thinks human artistry is going to be doomed thanks to AI and that all artists are destined to be replaced by machines.

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I do 3d and write code with a passion for game development and software, and 3d.