Construction of the Victory

  • Click on image to enlarge

    Photo: Stephen Pitkin / Pitkin Studio
  • Click on image to enlarge

    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
1997
Artificial flowers and plants, crutches, fabric, clothing, rope carpet, wood, window screen, found metal, wire, oil, enamel, spray paint, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood
83.5 x 114 x 13 inches
Collection of
The Dallas Museum of Art
museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation
Description

Sacrifice, resurrection, and triumph over adversity are subjects of Dial's Construction of the Victory. In this piece, made shortly after Dial's recovery from a serious illness, these Christian themes offer a more conventional vision of death and afterlife. Here, the protagonist is a symbolic everyman shown partially ascended into heaven. Strands of carpet rope, stretched across the scene, allude to the web of life, while the overall red color references the veil of blood and flesh that separates this world from the next. Now freed of earthly hardships, the figure has thrown down two crutches that symbolize the struggle to survive life's obstacles. And as they fall, the crutches form a giant V for victory, the victory over life's vicissitudes finally guaranteed by death, and perhaps the even greater victory over death that is offered by the real of the spirit. Combining Christianity's myths of escape and transport with his own existential angst and gallows humor, Dial captures the travails of human experience and its quest for transcendence.