when life imitates art: marcus byrne using midjourney 


What happens when graffiti tags influence the architecture of the buildings they once adorned? Graphic designer, digital artist, and visual storyteller Marcus Byrne asked himself that question before venturing into the world of artificial intelligence for his latest project, ‘When life imitates art.’ Using the popular text-to-image software Midjourney, he envisions graffiti tags as embodying the shape of abandoned buildings, each backdropped by a dystopian and grim landscape. According to Byrne, this speculative AI-generated series celebrates the beauty in the decay and how ‘spray can give us the freedom to express.’

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all images © Marcus Byrne



turning graffiti strokes into eerie 3D structures 


An accomplished creative, and a big-time Photoshop pro, Marcus Byrne has always been interested in the ways that technology and environments can shape the people we become and vice versa. For this AI series, he specifically explores how ‘artistic tribes shape culture and give meaning to the cities they express themselves in’


The result is an eerie collection of ghosted yet sculptural structures, each embodying the familiar brushstrokes of spray-painted tags left behind by graffiti artists. Details of decay, creeping plants, and faded coloring take over the warped facades and interiors, adding a touch of unsettling realness to the digitally simulated architecture. Byrne’s concept images were conceived using text prompts in Midjourney and a little bit of Photoshop.

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spray-painted strokes emerge as warped, 3D interiors

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details of ruin take over the facades

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‘When life imitates art’ celebrates the beauty of decay

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a dystopia-inspired series

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Marcus Byrne combines Midjourney with Photoshop to create his latest series

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giving new meaning to abandoned architecture



project info:


name: When life imitates art
design: Marcus Byrne

program: Midjourney



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom