The one sentence that’s the epitome of an antithesis is a homeless billionaire. While Elon Musk turned into one temporarily by selling his last remaining $32 million mansion, it was a voluntary action. It was not like he couldn’t afford the best mansion anywhere in the world. Digital creator and AI enthusiast Sahid have created an attention-grabbing series using AI showcasing billionaires in a never-seen-before avatar and something that is most unlikely to happen; hence exciting! The artist has donned the world’s wealthiest and most well-known people in business into homeless street urchins. The result is shocking and incredibly intriguing, though the renderings could’ve been a bit better.
Some billionaires like Bill Gates are nearly unrecognizable, probably because the brain blocks out every realization that the man can ever be perceived as a skinny, starving version of himself. If it weren’t for the glasses and the familiar blue eyes behind them, it would be hard to guess who the indigent man is. Let’s look at each creation, the reality, and a convulsing AI representation.
Jack Ma, 67th place on Forbes billionaires list, $23.1 billion
It is difficult to fathom the co-founder of Alibaba Group, Zen superyacht, owner of a vineyard in France, as a fraught, hapless man with nothing but doom in his eyes. One of China’s richest tycoons, he entirely disappeared from public view from October 2020 to early 2021 and keeps his whereabouts under wraps. Seeing the 67th richest person in the world and the sixth wealthiest Chinese national as a pauper is quite jolting.
Gautam Adani, 25th place in the Forbes billionaires list, $50 billion
This Indian multi-billionaire had once beaten Warren Buffet on the rich list. In fact, in September 2022, the elusive businessman briefly surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the second-richest person in the world. Since then, his net worth dropped to less than $50 billion, landing him on a new ranking. The artist depicts Adani with a pensive expression, probably investigating what went wrong.
Mark Zuckerberg, 16th place in the Forbes billionaires list, $61.2 billion
It is no secret that Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes. Sahid’s illustration hints that the Meta CEO gave it all in one go, bringing him to the doorstep of extreme poverty. A closer look at his expression shows regret-filled eyes and anxiety.
Mukesh Ambani, 8th place in the Forbes billionaires list, $83.5 billion
As the chairman of Reliance Industries, with operations in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail, the Stanford University drop-out has his hands full. Can you imagine the idler with a vacant expression in Sahid’s series of homeless billionaires once invited over 10,000 guests for his daughter Isha’s wedding in 2018? Only fictional artwork can make the uncrowned king of India seem as poor as a church mouse.
Warren Buffet, 5th place in the Forbes billionaires list, $106 billion
The Oracle of Omaha, the picture of wealth and owner of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns dozens of companies, looks like a veteran of the destitute. Unkempt hair, hood, wrinkled skin, and an evident apathy on his face make him look very unlike the playful philanthropist he is. The image makes him appear in dire need of his own charitable funds.
Bernard Arnault, 1st place in the Forbes billionaires list, $201.8 billion
Sahid has managed the impossible task of making the dapper Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the wealthiest man in the world, poor. It is both alarming and amusing to witness the owner of a fashion empire of some 70 luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora, as a beggar looking pasty and peckish.