OAKLAND, Calif., USA – Blue Bottle Coffee and the most followed, viral, visual artist Devon Rodriguez, who skyrocketed to fame for his emotion-filled subway paintings, teamed up for the “Human-Generated Art Experiment” in New York City on October 25. The first-of-its-kind experience, hosted over cups of Blue Bottle Coffee’s Home Blend portfolio, explored whether artificial intelligence (AI) can craft artwork with the same emotion a human can.
With AI receiving up to a million average monthly searches on Google and a recent surge in AI art, there’s an increased consumer curiosity around new ways of leveraging the technology. As a brand built on the ritual of hand-crafted coffee, Blue Bottle values the time, passion and emotion that goes into making every cup, emphasizing the human touch from roasting to brewing.
Through this experiment, the brand invited people to explore where the value of human-generated art stands today – whether a painted canvas or a pour-over coffee at home.
Onsite, Rodriguez and an AI image generator simultaneously created works of art from the same prompt. Attendees witnessed the two vastly different processes in real-time as Rodriguez brought to life his realist oil painting over seven hours. Viewers also learned about the brand’s 20+ years of artistry in deliciously crafted coffee to inspire them to incorporate the ritual of pour over coffee into their morning routines.
“As technology continues to evolve, we will always maintain a deep appreciation for crafting by hand because of the unique experiences and feeling humans infuse into the art they make,” said Jeff Cha, Chief Brand & Growth Officer at Blue Bottle Coffee.
“At Blue Bottle, we bring artistry and a human touch to everything we do from sourcing coffee to roasting and brewing. With this experiment, in collaboration with Devon, we hope to remind people of the value of human-generated art, from their at-home coffee to a painted canvas.”
Rodriguez’s completed piece was valued against comparable work, his first painting Girl on Subway [phillips.com], at the Philips De Pury Contemporary Art Day, which sold for over 50x the $400 Shutterstock licensing fee for the AI-generated piece. While AI art continues to evolve, this experiment showcases the difference in process – from the time and experience to artistry and emotion. For inquiries on Rodriguez’s artwork, please reach out to UTAArtistSpace@unitedtalent.com.
“As an artist, I’ve been staying close to the latest AI advancements, especially those that allow users to create art within a matter of seconds, using as little as a three-word text prompt. For me, art is more than just a blend of colors and brush strokes on a canvas. It infuses my emotions and the emotions from who I’m drawing,” said artist Devon Rodriguez. “That’s why this experiment is so important to me. I appreciate how Blue Bottle recognizes our artistry and reaffirms the value of handmade art.”
At the event, attendees were able to enjoy Blue Bottle Coffee’s Home Blend portfolio which features organic light, medium, and dark roasts, each crafted for the best expression of that flavor profile. The varieties include Bright, Bold, Balanced, Espresso, and Decaf blends.