AI photo-real
Freddie Mercury by Alper Yesiltas

Turkish Photographer Uses AI to Create Photo-Real Images of Present-Day John Lennon, Tupac, Kurt Cobain and More

In case you were wondering what a bunch of dead musicians might look like if they were alive today, Turkish photographer Alper Yesiltas has used his skills in combination with AI to put together a collection of images titled As If Nothing Happened.

The collection features pictures of Freddie MercuryMichael JacksonJanis Joplin and others. According to Yesiltas, it was an opportunity to explore how these celebrities might look had certain “great events” not transpired. In the case of Michael Jackson this must’ve included multiple rhinoplasties.

Alper Yesiltas’ As If Nothing Happened

It’s a little uncanny valley at times (looking at you, Elvis Presley’s weirdly youthful forearms) but when it works, it works. Princess Diana, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain are all particularly good examples. Others can be found on his Instagram.

John Lennon | Credit: Alper Yesiltas

Reflecting on how he made the images, Yesiltas said the hardest part of the creative process was “making the image feel ‘real’”. He said the moment of satisfaction comes when an image looks so good, it seems as if it were taken by a photographer.

Yesiltas paired each image with an observation on that particular celebrity’s death. His comment for Presley sounds a little chiding, however: “I wish he decided to live a life where he paid more attention to the health of his heart.”

Kurt Cobain | Credit: Alper Yesiltas

Further Reading

Listen to John Lennon Sing on Early Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ Demo

Lisa Marie Presley Dies Aged 54

Nick Cave Labels AI-Generated Songs “A Grotesque Mockery Of What It Is To Be Human”

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