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Unholy trinity

Date, Hideo [ bio ]

Unholy trinity
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Frame: 37.5 x 28.5 in, H: 28 in, W: 20 in
metallic paint

Los Angeles, Calif., 1940


Gift of Hideo Date


Matted and framed.

Image of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin on gray ground and yellow hued background. Large image of bald Mussolini dressed in peach-lined silver robe with swastika design, sits with crossed legs holding a four-faced red Buddha sculpture in small hands; three faces are visible. A smaller, long-haired Hitler in an orange robe over green stands to the right and leans with his head on Mussolini's shoulder and right hand around Mussolini's other shoulder; left hand holds the end of his sash. A small Stalin, lower center, wearing a purple short sleeved top over long green robes with orange sleeves and red sash, kneels at Mussolini's feet while grasping a long handled spear with sharp crescent shaped end; bird sits with its back to viewer on his shoulder. All three figures have halos over their heads. Dandelions appear in the foreground.

Artist's hanko (personal mark, consists of three characters that translate as "Date Hide"), lower right corner.

Interview with Date: "I finished one painting and I tried to exhibit, but I couldn't because of subject matter. I used the face of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin - three face. It's called Unholy Trinity. Looks like a religious painting, but the meaning is: Mussolini, he's sitting down holding four-faced Buddha - that's a phallic symbol in India. And leaning against Mussolini is Hitler, carrying bottle of wine: dipsomaniac. And the other one, Russian face, he was carrying a scythe and carrying the black bird called "death" that means homicidal maniac, those three. But they didn't get the meaning, they only see the face. So, I couldn't exhibit." (November 17, 2000)

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