2018 AMI Online Salon

Difficulty Knowing When Beliefs Are Unrealistic and Whether Unrealistic Beliefs Are Bad

Project Details

  • Artist(s):  Norman(Zhaowen) Luo; Chicago, Illinois
  • Client: American Journal of Bioethics
  • Copyright: ©  Norman(Zhaowen) Luo
  • Medium / software used: Adobe Photoshop, Clip Paint Studio
  • Final presentation format: Print
  • Primary audience: American Journal of Bioethics readers

Project Description

This assignment was created as a potential cover illustration for an article from The American Journal of Bioethics. The article, ‘In Defense of “Denial”’, argues that it is difficult to distinguish an unrealistic belief from a realistic one and further posits that even unrealistic beliefs might not be harmful as expected. The illustration draws upon a popular metaphor and asks the viewer to consider the value of reaching to close the gap between ourselves and an unrealistic belief, symbolized by the carrot on a stick. It is hard to tell whether the donkey will succeed in obtaining the object of his aspiration considering the length of the string tying the carrot. The background depicts the carrot leading the donkey away from barren terrain towards the grassland implying that the outcome of the pursuit prompted by the unrealistic belief may not lead to harm. The overall image conveys a positive atmosphere with the yellow light of sunrise projected from the left.