Buddy Jake and the Power of the Mule

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Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
2003
Plow parts, saw blade, wood, found metal, clothing, string, Splash Zone compound, enamel, and spray paint
71 x 51 x 53 inches

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Buddy Jake Dial was a relative and mentor to Thornton Dial in Emelle.

Buddy Jake Dial was a relative and mentor to Thornton Dial in Emelle. A bent, wizened figure, fashioned of sticks and a mop draped with rags, [Buddy Jake] clings to a massive abstract effigy—the power of the mule—made of plow parts and machinery. Both images possess their separate majesty buttressed and clarified by the juxtaposition. Bent forms repeat themselves (down to the notches in the two-person saw blade) all over Buddy Jake and the mule effigy, further tying the two together. Visually, bent may mean stubbornness and perseverance. Buddy Jake is the monument never built to Buddy Jakes.

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