Cosmic Portraits Created From Hubble Space Telescope Images

By Megan Gambino

Photos © Sergio Albiac

In less than 60 days, artist Sergio Albiac has created more than 11,000 portraits. This kind of productivity, no doubt, seems unfathomable—until you consider his artistic method.

Albiac is a practitioner of generative art, a discipline in which artists employ non-human assistants—often computers—to make aesthetic decisions. “An artist has the potential to create infinite artworks but only some of them will see the light due to the constraint of time,” says the artist on his website. “What if we use technology to outsource the creation of art so more of these potential artworks are finally created?”

For his latest project, “Stardust Portraits,” Albiac, a computer science engineer with a background in art and art history, wrote software that can take a photographic portrait submitted by the public and recreate it as a cosmic mosaic of Hubble space telescope images.

See more of Albiac’s “Stardust Portraits” at Smithsonian.com.

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