Halloween is right around the corner, and it's a time when people around the world embrace the spooky and supernatural. The cultural relevance and universal popularity of Halloween can be attributed to its ability to tap into our fascination with the unknown and our love for a good scare. Horror, as a genre, has always had a global appeal, transcending cultural boundaries and captivating audiences worldwide.
In the spirit of the Halloween season, writer and AI storyteller Prateek Arora has shared a collection of some of the more notable pieces of AI Indian horror art he's made over the last year. When I took a first look at the characters in the series, they seemed to embody the imagined horror personas that Bangladeshi novelist Humayun Ahmed and renowned English writer Mary Shelley would create if they collaborated on a horror story.
Prateek Arora's art series stands out due to its distinctive thematic juxtaposition. By blending Western horror elements within an Indian setting, he manages to maintain the essence of 'Indianness' in his art while capturing the universal appeal of horror. Arora's unique approach involves taking universally familiar creatures like werewolves, vampires, and skeletons and placing them within the rich tapestry of Indian culture. He also incorporates Indian horror tropes such as shakchunni (ghosts of married women in Bengali folklore), levitating women, and rakshashas (demons), creating a fusion that is both intriguing and spine-chilling. Most people witness the phenomenon of death or are introduced to it for the first time when a member of their family dies. Death in the family and the consequent horror that ensues has been a common trope in countless novels and films. The Indian family portraits in Arora's series are vivid representations of that well-known trope. Overall, the series taps into the genre of horror as a conduit to bridge between different cultural narratives, transporting us into a world where ancient myths and contemporary fears coexist.
The aspect of AI art that captivates me the most is its utilization of language, where the concept takes precedence over formalist art techniques. Through the power of communication, AI art is able to awaken the dormant creations of our imagination. Imagination, often regarded as the most powerful graphic chip, finds its outlet on a digital canvas through the prompts provided. As a writer, I am particularly fascinated by this intersection between language and technology. To express a genre like horror, which is best experienced in our imagined realities than in our lived experiences, Prateek, being a screenwriter and digital creator, harnesses the potential of language to generate fresh fictional realms and alternative realities.
About the creator:
From his roots as a street photographer in Delhi to his current foray into AI image-making, Prateek's work reflects the interplay between popular culture, memory and identity. Blending technological progress with genre cinema, his creations transcend conventional limits, inviting viewers into enchanting fictional realms. Prateek's mesmerizing visions redefine artistic expression in a world where AI and human creativity converge, unlocking infinite possibilities. At present, Prateek Arora works as a digital creator, screenwriter and VP of Development At BANG BANG Mediacorp.
You can follow Prateek Arora here.