“Innovation leads one to see the new in the old.”

–Paul Rand, iconic graphic designer and art director

Can a machine make you think about what’s hidden in the familiar?

Watson analyzes vast amounts of data to find previously unseen insights. What can he find in the data of some of the world’s most influential figures? Can Watson discover things about them that we didn’t already know?

Art with Watson teams up established artists with Watson, and uses data to discover and illuminate the unknown essence of six notable individuals – Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla, Paul Rand, Josephine Baker and Thomas J. Watson. An exploration that makes data analysis, and the hidden connections it reveals, an actual art form.

How Watson and the artists turned data into art

Step 1: Watson read vast amounts of data relating to each portrait subject – writings, letters, speeches, sketches, photos, handwritten notes, even music.

Step 2: Watson analyzed structured and unstructured data to find insights even the world’s experts haven’t been able to uncover.

Step 3: Artists were commissioned to interpret the most provocative of Watson’s findings.

Step 4: Inspired by Watson’s discoveries, the artists created portraits illuminating the newly uncovered nature of their subjects.


The Artist Inside by Craig Cutler

Featured portrait

“I’ve shot thousands of portraits. Watson helped me see things I’ve never seen before.”

- Jake Chessum, photographer