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Roman Lipski: We need to redefine what it means to be an artist.

Man and machine. Artist and computer. Analogue and digital. Where is the point of intersection between these elements and how do they coalesce? Polish-born and Berlin-based painter Roman Lipski has made it his life’s work to redefine what it means to be an artist. 

Roman has described his previous work as being “realistic, but detached from reality.” Without emotion and heart, he realized the art market had begun to feel a bit stale. For too long, he had felt the art market caters more towards an exclusive group of elites, to a small bench of people. For too long, he’d felt the urge to make art more readily available to everyone. His method of utilizing artificial intelligence and technology opens many doors to that end.

For him, AI is a handy tool that can be used for the development of our human skills and creativity. He seems to have struck a balance between the creativity of artists and the creativity of scientists. He draws parallels between artists’ practice and desire for transformation, and scientists’ optimization of things.

“We learn from each other, and together, create a new quality,” he told Sonophilia. “Creativity gives the people something like a starting point for creating new intellectual development and set free the potential for alternative ideas, alternative thinking. When the alternative ideas are created with the help of artists and their creativity, then scientists can start to prove their ideas [in a] logical way.”

Inspiration is the first step in any journey and can have infinite possibilities. In developing what he calls his AI muse, Roman wanted to reform the relationship between artist and art lover. Rather than have a set philosophy that drives his artistic work, his ultimate desire is to follow his heart and establish creative support systems through his art and his digital technology strategy. 

This concept is particularly evident in Roman’s Unfinished series. In this interactive exhibit, he invites art, culture, and tech-enthusiasts to experience the creative process for themselves. They weave their ideas and implement various painting techniques to create something of their own. Their work is then injected with Roman’s personality and style. What makes this exhibit different than his other multimedia and AI-enhanced pieces is his specific handling of co-creation with ordinary people.

“This is based on a classical art dialogue, between artist and art lover. So in the way that the artists create something, somebody who enjoys the art has the possibility to show the final results. [It’s very important] to cooperate, to create together something for the future. It’s also a new development of my [personality]. I lose my ego, and I really appreciate it because I opened my studio, [as well as] my head and heart for input from outside.”

The creative process itself is what makes a painting meaningful. To listen and learn from people who may never have had an experience in an art studio is invaluable. Roman stressed that witnessing the development of their creativity and how they respond to challenges is the most rewarding part of his job. In short, the act of embracing our creativity can also act as a catalyst for a better future.

“I moved myself in the topic of painting, but I recognize something universal in the handling of AI. In the young AI artists scene, you can see a splitting of two groups. [The first] are the people that use the AI systems just for creating an art piece, to optimize something. The second group of artists are more like design artists, or even scientists pretending to be artists. The first group has a classical way of seeing things and creating art… I recognize that the AI has really given me the chance to not only be a better artist but to be a better person. It’s universal. I think this could work everywhere, in every topic and every profession.”

Democratizing creativity and expanding its scope in other fields besides the arts is the pillar upon which Sonophilia was founded. This interdisciplinary mentality is projected in so many aspects of Roman’s career and his work to widen creativity’s scope in the world. 

Roman contributed a story to the Sonophilia Foundation’s new book, titled Creativity Matters, which will be launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Creativity Matters is a collection of short stories from several Sonophilians, speaking about creativity’s defining and transformative power. The notion of democratizing art is a central theme in his chapter.

“You have to go two steps back and to meet the people that are unsure [or who are scared]… When people from different disciplines work together, they develop completely new results in the name of art, in the name of love. We have to talk about emotions, not only about technology. I’ve had art create utopias and ask questions.” 

He admitted his artistic style is always subject to change because that is the nature and the essence of a true creative. “I’m open-minded,” he said at last. “I don’t fear new challenges.”

Click here to listen to the full interview on our new podcast series.

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