The Old Ku Klux: After All Their Fighting, Where's the Profit?

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    Photo: Gamma One Conversions
Plastic can lids, hemp rope, Bondo, and enamel on wood
48 x 48.5 x 3 inches
Collection of
High Museum of Art
Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Made of plastic lids with rope hair, Thornton Dial’s gridded construction of the eerie faces of hooded Klansmen occupies an arresting place in the imagination. The black background represents a graveyard, the Klansmen’s hair continuing to grow after their death. Dial’s piece turns the Klan’s threatening presence on its head: through his clever titling, he draws attention to the fact that Klansmen too will one day die and come to rest in the same place as those they’ve been fighting against, leaving this life with nothing more than anyone else.