Mark Maher: The Garden

Mark Maher: The Garden




12:00 – 18:00


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Opening / Avajaiset 4.5.2023 18:00-20:00

Visual artist Mark Maher combines AI and Renaissance Art in Latest Series “The Garden”

Myymälä2 Gallery is delighted to announce the upcoming exhibition titled “The Garden” by Mark Maher. The American-born experimental artist has utilized a variety of emerging AI techniques to remix Renaissance and Baroque paintings into captivating, large-scale artworks that are both conceptually intriguing and visually hallucinatory. The exhibition will be open to the public from May 5th to May 28th. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, May 4th, from 6 to 8 pm.

During the past few months various artificial intelligence (AI) applications have suddenly appeared everywhere in popular media, while at the same historical moment leading technologists are issuing stark warnings about the potential dangers of this brave new era we are just now entering.

Experimental visual artist Mark Maher has been exploring visual AI tools and processes for the past four years. His Myymälä2 Gallery exhibition marks the international premier of his new AI-driven series, “The Garden”. In this series, Maher employs a range of emerging AI applications to remix Renaissance and Baroque painting source files into large-scale, deliciously hallucinatory, conceptually intriguing artworks.

“We’re very excited to have Mark Maher and his experimental artwork at Myymälä2. We want to showcase interesting, new ways of doing art, and Maher’s new series is just that. This exhibition is a unique contribution to the current global discussion about how AI, creativity and art can go together”, states Myymälä2 Director, Timo Tuhkanen.

The techniques Maher uses are somewhat similar to lucid dreaming, originally an ancient Buddhist technique for developing control over the content and direction of one’s dreams. Just as with lucid dreaming, the neural network AI tools Maher uses combine a certain degree of masterly control with chaotic unpredictability, which makes the process particularly compelling for Maher’s own artistic explorations.

Maher writes, “As a visual artist with roots in photography, the parallels between the emergence of photography – in particular its impact on art – and today’s neural network driven image creation, are clear and deep. Then, as now, the same questions were asked: ’What is artistic about merely pushing a button?’ ‘Won’t this new technology simply cheapen and degrade ‘real’ art?’. Of course, photography never destroyed art, and it’s now accepted as an artistic medium on par with any. To me, it’s clear that this pattern will repeat itself for visual artists working today with neural network tools, even if we can’t predict where we’ll take this new medium – or where it may be taking us.”

The exhibition will be open to the public from May 5th to May 28th at Myymälä2 Gallery (Uudenmaankatu 23 F). The exhibition opening will take place on Thursday, May 4th, from 6 to 8 pm.

About Mark Maher
Mark Maher is an American-born visual artist with degrees in art history and anthropology who has lived in Helsinki for the past 23 years. His images and objects explore a diverse range of ideas and processes that blend the critical and disquieting with the sincerely wonderstruck.

In Finland, Maher has had solo exhibitions of his work at Amos Anderson Museum, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Victor Barsokevitsch Photo Centre, Hippolyte Gallery, and Muu Gallery. Internationally, his art has been shown widely – from Chicago and Kuwait City, to Berlin and Shanghai. Five books of his art have been published.

Until recently, Maher curated his long-running Helsinki-based artist event and exhibition series, Love&Money.

Fri 05 May 2023 – 28 May 2023 12:00 – 18:00


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Uudenmaankatu 23 F
00120 Helsinki