SiteMapNihongo
 Japanese American National Museum
Collections & Research

Unholy trinity

Date, Hideo [ bio ]

Unholy trinity
Enlarge Image (87.8KB)

painting
Frame: 37.5 x 28.5 in, H: 28 in, W: 20 in
watercolor
gouache
metallic paint
paper

Los Angeles, Calif., 1940

(99.111.98)

Gift of Hideo Date

Description

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.

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

History
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)

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management & Access Unit at the Japanese American National Museum (collections@janm.org).

 

 

Jump to Top of Page Japanese American National Museum

 
janm.org home
Copyright © 1998-2017 Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90012   ▪   phone: (213) 625-0414