Forklifts painted by 10 famous artists (as imagined by Artificial Intelligence)

21 Oct, 2022

3 min read

For some unknown reason, forklifts have never been a popular motif amongst the world’s elite artists. To be fair to many of them, they were born before the invention of the forklift in 1917 and therefore never had the opportunity. For more modern artists however this omission remains a mystery.

Whatever the reason, we at Forkify decided to finally right this wrong using Artificial Intelligence. We asked Craiyon, an AI image generator powered by DALLE mini, to depict forklifts in the styles of ten famous artists and see what they came back with.

We simply entered ‘forklift in the style of artist name’ and waited for the AI to work its magic.

The results ranged from confusing, to disturbing, to somewhat…beautiful. But take a look at the results and judge for yourselves!

1. Van Gogh

van gogh forklift

Our verdict: This draws heavily on ‘starry night’, a painting Van Gogh created on his first night in a mental institution. The swirls in the background are very on-brand, while even the forklift itself feels very ‘Van Gogh’ in a way we don’t even know how to describe. 9/10

2. Banksy

banksy forklift

Our verdict: If you were to ask any art enthusiast who painted this, they’d instantly think ‘Banksy’. The A.I. has almost perfectly captured his iconic street art style, and even mysteriously included two Banksy-esq birds in the background. The only thing lacking is the political message…or maybe we just haven’t worked it out yet? 8/10

3. Jackson Pollock

jackson pollock forklift

Our verdict: This was the one we had least hope for. Jackson Pollock is known for essentially just flicking paint around, which doesn’t lend itself to outlining something as robust as a forklift. The result however is surprisingly good (if a little disturbing). The overhead guard feels like an extension of the typical abstract expressionist background…in fact, the whole forklift does.  7/10.

4. Picasso

picasso forklift

Our verdict: This surprisingly elegant output neatly captures Picasso’s modernist style. The playful lines of the wheels, the bold red of the chassis, the intrigue in the forks themselves – it’s weirdly on point. 8/10

5. Andy Warhol

andy warhol forklift

Our verdict: The bold colours and brush strokes perfectly mimic Warhol’s iconic pop art style. What really intrigued us though was the mysterious inclusion of the penguin driver. We definitely didn’t mention a penguin in our prompt, nor did Andy Warhol ever paint one (as far as we know), so this is the AI taking some serious creative licence….but it just works! 10/10.

6. Francis Bacon

Our verdict: This counterbalance forklift is downright unnerving, and frankly perfectly in keeping with Bacon’s raw, unsettling imagery. The white, flowery-seeming spirit-thingy in the driving seat is particularly haunting, but at the same time adds an element of hope to the otherwise bleak scene. 8/10.

7. Henry Matisse

Our verdict: Matisse liked to use bold colours as the foundation of his paintings, and the AI has captured this well with the striking contrast of primary colours, combined with influences from cubism. Matisse once wrote he sought to create art that would be “a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair”, and we think he’s (sort of) succeeded with his posthumous depiction of a forklift. 9/10

8. Edvard Munch

Our verdict: Most famous for ‘the scream’ – a nightmarish portrayal of someone having a panic attack – we were a little concerned about what the A.I would come up with for Edvard Munch. Thankfully this image isn’t as alarming, but the AI somehow captures the surreal, psychedelic nature of his work. 7/10.

9. Georgia O’Keeffe

Our verdict: An artist known for her mastery of line, colour and composition, we were worried this wouldn’t live up to O’Keeffe’s high standards. But it ticks all three boxes! The result is a piece which glows with energy and life. It feels strangely emotional, like a forklift on its final journey into the sunset. 9/10.

10. Piet Mondrian

Our verdict: Abstract art often produces poor results, but the AI captured the essence of Mondrian in this example. The iconic geometric pattern features the three primary colours and the three values (white, black and grey) that Mondrian became renowned for in his later works. It’s also the only image to feature a pallet, albeit one that looks like it might be suspended in mid-air. What can we say, 10/10.


We’re a little scared how good some of these are. What started as a bit of fun turned into quite a serious reflection on technology, art, and the essence of creativity itself. But most importantly we got to see some cool pictures of forklifts!

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