AI Art is not Sacred Art says Catholics

February 9 2024

Image of AI Art is not Sacred Art says Catholics


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

In the wake of the proliferation  of AI generated art that is sweeping across the globe, the US Catholic Newspaper the Catholic National Register has run an extended article exploring whether AI generated images (such as St Joan of Arc above) can be considered sacred. In particular, can these pastiches be thought of as powerful or profoundly religious as many paintings by Old Masters?

According to one of the quotes from the article:

Kathleen Carr, president of the Catholic Art institute, told the Register that AI creates images “but is not really art since it lacks a human’s imagination and hand in creating it. Sacred art is a human endeavor, and artists mirror God by being co-creators, bringing beauty and order into the world in architecture, beauty and art.” Carr, a classically trained realist painter and illustrator whose award-winning art has gained international recognition, pointed out that the earliest Christian artists were iconographers who prepared themselves with fasting and prayer before creating an icon, which they saw as a “window into heaven.” Importantly, this art requires an understanding of theology. “Christian artists intend to make something sacred or reveal something sacred for the purpose of drawing the faithful into prayer, contemplation, reverence and awe,” she said.

Furthermore, AI images she has seen “often lack proper theological symbolism ... a major glaring issue with AI ‘sacred art,’” plus, “the works are confabulations of various styles, some of which should be avoided, particularly photorealism or saccharine depiction.”

A burning question appears settled for now, it seems.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.