Sneaking In

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    Photo: Gamma One Conversions
Tin, carpet, wire, fabric, rope, carpet, screen, iron, oil, enamel, and Splash Zone compound on canvas on wood
80.5 x 106 x 4.5 inches

Power within the struggle for civil rights was often a matter of disguising one’s cultural subversiveness, as shown in one of Dial’s tiger pieces, Sneaking In. In this painting from 1992, the cat image represents the essential force behind Dial’s creative life, as it slinks out of the dark and steals through the gates of the brightly lit citadel of dominant culture. Here the tiger represents Dial’s willful act of becoming an artist, of expressing his cultural prowess and exercising the full range of his creative consciousness despite the social obstacles and dangers. —David C. Driskell