Object 1: Angel Painting by my grandma in the year 2014

May 27, 2021


This is a painting by my grandmother, Teresa Costa, composed for an art exhibition in Amposta, Spain. This piece can be interpreted in different ways depending on your knowledge, beliefs and opinions. My grandmother mentioned that this angel was both a man and woman, dedicated to her parents who had died in a car accident when she was young.

This object enriches this exhibition because depending on the knowledge one has about my grandma’s past and their beliefs about angels, their opinion of the painting may vary. People with direct knowledge of my grandmother’s life would decipher the ‘true’ meaning of the painting and their opinion would be based on personal knowledge. Others, unaware of this would base their opinion of the artwork on personal preferences and interpretations and won’t emotionally connect with the painting as much.

Many people consider angels to be ‘powerful spiritual beings’, either from the bible or form stories. Non-theists don’t believe in a higher power (angels) as they tend to be naturalistic. This painting will be discerned differently by each person’s religious belief and some viewers may value it differently as they may consider the angel ‘unreal’. Together, knowledge of my grandma’s past and belief or the lack thereof in angels both shape the viewer’s opinion of the painting.

Knowledge of my grandmother’s experience has high certitude and is objective as it is a real life event that can be verified through a conversation with my grandmother. Belief can be distinguished from knowledge as it is subjective and in this case, is based on religious and cultural norms and not something that can be directly proven. Although knowledge of my grandmother’s experience isn’t definitive as my she could be recalling the events inaccurately, it has a higher degree of perceived certainty than belief and opinion as they are subjective. This artwork shows how certitude can help us distinguish between belief, knowledge and opinion.

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