Mary and Joseph Bringing a New Meaning to Life

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    Photo: Dan Jurgens
1991
Wood, found metal, fabric, rope, carpet, enamel, spray paint, rope fiber, industrial sealing compound
50 x 78 x 24 inches

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In Mary and Joseph Bringing a New Meaning to Life, Dial summons,up the yard art/creche tradition that has been such an influence on his work.

In Mary and Joseph Bringing a New Meaning to Life, Dial summons,up the yard art/creche tradition that has been such an influence on his work. He creates a half-life-size tableau of the pregnant Mary astride the back of a donkey being led by Joseph on foot. The infrastructure of the sculpture is steel, a symbol of strength. Yet the figures are all carefully wrapped in rope, an unintentional resemblance to the Kongo tradition of concealing spiritual objects through wrapping or bundling. However, as a final touch, Dial brings his figures squarely into the present by spray-painting the entire piece in red, white, and blue.