The Pop artist had left the work deliberately unfinished as a commentary on the AIDS epidemic.
Keith Haring’s Unfinished Painting (1989) is deliberately so. The canvas was filled in its top-left corner by the Pop artist in his buoyant, figurative hand, the rest of it left shockingly blank to represent the vacuum left by the HIV epidemic, which cut short millions of lives around the world. Haring himself died from AIDS-related complications a few months after completing the work.
But what Haring intentionally and poignantly left blank, an X user has now—unwisely—thought to “complete” using artificial intelligence. On December 31, 2023, @DonnelVillager, in response to another user’s tweet about the work, posted an image of Unfinished Painting, filled edge to edge using generative A.I. “The story behind this painting is so sad!” they wrote. “Now using A.I. we can complete what he couldn’t