The Tiger Cat in the Coal Mine (If He Don't Watch Out He Get a Monkey on His Back)

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    Photo: Gamma One Conversions
1989
Tin, wood, Styrofoam, enamel, Bondo, and Splash Zone compound on wood
56.5 x 98.5 x 11 inches

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Dial watched as many sharecroppers, himself included, left the farms in search of better lives only to discover oppressive and dangerous occupations awaiting them.

Dial watched as many sharecroppers, himself included, left the farms in search of better lives only to discover oppressive and dangerous occupations awaiting them. Here, the tiger seems inextricably trapped in a dead-end coal mine. Yet the system that contains him consists of a plywood mine, flimsy aluminum strips (with caricatures of those who run the system), and a sad-eyed monkey (symbolic of the white exploiter) who appears to be tied in knots.The metal tiger gives the impression that he controls his own destiny and is awaiting the proper moment to make his move.