AI ‘resurrects’ dead stars: Eerie portraits show what Diana, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Freddie Mercury would look like if they were alive today

  • Photographer Alper Yesiltas was able to ‘resurrect’ stars who died young with the help of artificial intelligence and photo editing software
  • Among the celebrities featured: Princess Diana, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Freddie Mercury
  • ‘With the development of AI technology, I’ve been excited for a while, thinking that “anything imaginable can be shown in reality,”‘ Yesiltas wrote about the project.
  • The haunting and realistic images are part of a project called ‘As If Nothing Happened’

A photographer used artificial intelligence to bring stars who left us too soon back to life – creating eerie portraits of Princess Diana, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury and others.

The haunting and realistic images are the work of Alper Yesiltas, a photographer based in Turkey who created the portraits for a project titled ‘As If Nothing Happened.’

He used artificial intelligence photo enhancer software and photo editing programs to create the pictures.

‘With the development of AI technology, I’ve been excited for a while, thinking that “anything imaginable can be shown in reality,”‘ Yesiltas wrote about the project.

‘When I started tinkering with technology, I saw what I could do and thought about what would make me the happiest. I wanted to see some of the people I missed again in front of me and that’s how this project emerged.’

The artist continued, ‘The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me. The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks very realistic as if it was taken by a photographer.’

Each of the celebrities featured in the project died at a young age – often in tragic circumstances.

Princess Diana was killed in Paris at the age of 36 after the Mercedes-Benz she was riding in crashed while being pursued by paparazzi in the early hours of August 31, 1997.

Rocker Kurt Cobain was found dead on April 5, 1994 at his Seattle home after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head at the age of 27.

Beatles singer John Lennon was fatally shot outside in New York City on December 8, 1980 at the age of 40.

Queen lead vocalist Freddie Mercury died from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS on November 24, 1991 at his home in London at the age of 45.

Rapper Tupak Shakur died at the age of 25 in Las Vegas from gunshot wounds on September 13, 1996.

Actor Heath Ledger died as the result of an accidental drug overdose on January 22, 2008 at the age of 28.

Musician Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose on September 18, 1970 at the age of 27.

Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970 at the age of 27.

Michael Jackson, who began to alter his appearance in significant ways in the mid-1980s, died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication at his Los Angeles home on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50.

Elvis Presley, who suffered from heart troubles and had diabetes, died on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42.

‘Behind this project lies the question of ‘how would people look photo-realistically if some great events had not happened to them,’ Yesiltas explained.

 

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