Monkeys and People Love the Tiger Cat

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Rope, carpet, wire, enamel, and Splash Zone compound on wood
49.5 x 96 x 3 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

The tiger—here, a symbol of the Black man—is imposing and handsome. Both monkeys and people, images representative of whites in Dial's art, are amused, awed, and even physically attracted to the tiger. Though the admirers scattered at his feet seem nonthreatening and subordinate, they hold hidden danger. Stretched across the top of the piece is a snake (Dial, the herpetophobe's primary symbol of danger) focused on the tiger's tail, a symbol of the African American male's renowned sexuality as well as his vulnerability. Powerful and confident, the tiger must nevertheless be cautious as he treads in a society he does not control.