Phillip Dewey

Phillip Dewey
Kaline’s Corner
oil on canvas, painted wood, found objects & interior photographs

In the only home that he ever knew, Al Kaline held down the spot in Tiger Stadium’s right field for a 22-year career that began in 1953 at age 18, stretching all the way to 1974. He became known as Mr. Tiger to the adoring fans and simply as “Six” to teammates in the clubhouse. The late, longtime Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell spoke of Kaline as the best Tiger he ever saw play. A great bat, sure fielding and a rifle arm: he was the complete package. He still holds the record as the youngest player to win an American League Batting Title (.340 at age 20 in 1955), while earning 10 gold gloves and making 18 All-Star appearances in his career.

The “Corner” has something of a double meaning here. Fans often referred to Tiger Stadium reverently as “the corner of Michigan and Trumbull,” as if it was worthy of long-hand code. It was. Inside the white stadium facade, Kaline’s post in right field, under the deep green grandstands, was given a similar moniker over the years as he learned to play the odd-angled walls so well.

This homage to both player and place is constructed of over 110 separate pieces to create a section of the famed stadium, now gone to the ages, and a portrait of a player who, at the time, had still yet to become. If you look inside the four brass spy holes you can get a glimpse of youth in its prime, the reflection of age and the inevitability of time itself.