So while playing around with the artificial intelligence Midjourney, I realized that focusing a single painter on all the presidents was, well, a tad boring. So I took a poll amongst a few friends and came up with alternates to be posted at a later date.
I actually ran out of hours this month on Midjourney for my premium account, which was the first time that’s happened.
Today we’re covering presidents 6–10. We’re sticking with Vincent Van Gogh for these five, so let’s see what Midjourney comes up with. Also, sorry about not getting this one up yesterday. I forgot it was Thanksgiving.
Interestingly enough, John Quincy Adams was the first president to not get re-elected as president. For some reason I’d thought it was Martin Van Buren but no, it was Adams, the eldest son of a previously elected president (another first). For him Midjourney decided to go with muttonchops and a hat (I have to admit I like the Midjourney portrait better).
Ah, Andrew Jackson. Probably one of the most hated presidents until recent memory, though not for the reasons you’d suspect. Midjourney failed me here, making Jackson appear far more distinguished-looking than the man probably was. Also, Midjourney continues to give everyone in the style of Van Gogh hats. The only person to escape this curse so far was James Monroe.
The “Magician from New York” (called that because he somehow, miraculously, earned the Democratic presidential nomination by corralling all the various factions into nominating him despite their distrust and dislike) did not have a good portrait done… unless it’s more accurate than we thought and that left eye really did do that. Midjourney decided the Little Magician was a dead ringer for Van Gogh (go home, Midjourney, you’re drunk) and painted him accordingly. HATS!!!
William Henry Harrison was the first president to die in office. He was also the first president to have a grandchild become president (actually, I think he’s still the only one) though he never knew this because he died a month after taking office. Midjourney didn’t really do a good job here. One of the things limiting the AI is creativity. I’m of two minds here. I want to see the painting creativity get better, but I also don’t.
This is, by far, the best one Midjourney has done yet. I think what worked in Tyler’s favor was his naturally angular face, which Midjourney seems to prefer when it comes to painting in the style of Van Gogh. It still gave him some unnecessary facial hair but I’m kinda digging the Van Dyke look on Tyler. John Tyler was one of those interesting presidents that gets forgotten by history. He was expelled by the Whig Party after taking office for many reasons, but the most interesting one was his staunch refusal to create a national bank and raise tariff rates. However, he was pretty pro-slavery, so fuck that guy.
I’ll continue this next week with Part 3 and go for presidents 11-15, which was literally a desert of notable presidents (meaning none are really remembered… do you remember anything about the presidency of Millard Fillmore? Precisely. Only us history nerds even remember him).