I'm mostly over AI art, but I do still subscribe to a Facebook group called "Cursed AI" that I find pretty entertaining. Say what you will about AI art—love it or hate, you cannot deny that it does a bang-up job at really tapping into the grotesque, and this is precisely what "Cursed AI" specializes in.
What, exactly, is the grotesque, and why are so many of us so fascinated by it? The Masters Review provides this overview:
Nowadays, when people talk about "the grotesque," their meaning is closer to its adjectival form: "very strange or ugly in a way that is not normal or natural." The grotesque in literature focuses on the human body, and all the ways that it can be distorted or exaggerated: its aim is to simultaneously elicit our empathy and disgust. Very much like the uncanny, the grotesque draws its power from the combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar, or the familiar distorted. Gothic fiction often has elements of the grotesque, such as Mary Shelley's monster in Frankenstein or the off-kilter characters in Flannery O'Conner's stories. In its earlier iterations, the term "grotesque" was used in a way that overlapped more with "the uncanny," referring to works that blurred the line between the real and the fantastic, such as Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," in which the human protagonist is transformed into an insect. It is interesting to see the ways in which these terms overlap, and it's important to note that their exact "definitions" can be hard to nail down because of the way they have changed over time.
Here's the description of the "Cursed AI" Facebook group:
Beware, these creations may haunt your dreams and unravel your sanity. Step into the eerie world of AI-generated cursed art, where machines possess powers to create twisted and terrifying masterpieces. Join our community of art lovers with a taste for the strange and share your twisted creations. These disturbingly beautiful images crafted by AI will leave you questioning the very nature of technology and its place in our world. Enter at your own risk.
I scrolled through the page, which provides so many great examples of grotesque, cursed AI art. Here are some of my favorites:
- ham man
- chaotic night at the Waffle House
- Trump in an eating contest
- Steve Harvey at a Golden Corral buffet
- Finally, here's one of Steve Harvey running from a monster that Harvey himself reposted, stating "Why y'all play so much."
Let me know if you find any others you like. And "enjoy"!