Danish Artist Dresses Her Baby Like Hitler, Other Evil Dictators

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

A Danish artist dressed up her baby girl as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Courtesy of Haaretz.com

Can you dress your baby like Hitler and call it art?

Danish-Norwegian artist Nina Maria Kleivan did. Plus Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Chairman Mao, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet and Slobodan Milosevic.

But why?

"We all have evil within us. Even small children are evil towards each other," Kleivan tells Israeli newspaper Haartetz.

Kleivan embarked on the project when, after giving birth to her daughter, Faustina -- now 11 years old -- serious pelvic joint pain kept her hospitalized for two months and wheelchair-bound at home for an additional four months. Out of boredom, she started sewing costumes of dictators and dressing up and photographing her daughter.

Her husband didn't support the project, and he lost it when he saw a swastika armband on the desk, Haartetz reports.

"'I'm aware that you're an artist, but this is wrong,' he told me," Kleivan tells Haaretz. "I've pondered that a lot myself: Could I really do this? I agree it's on the verge, especially Hitler, whom I and most others view as the incarnation of evil. He and Stalin were the hardest to do. It hurt."

Kleivan's Jewish aunt also wasn't pleased when she saw the exhibit in Sweden. "Most of her family disappeared in the German camps, I felt so bad telling her it was my work, because she didn't know, and was sickened by it," Kleivan says.

The photo series, "Potency," which also has been exhibited in Denmark, Italy and Germany, aims to illustrate one thing: "We all begin life the same. We all have every opportunity ahead of us. To do good, or inexplicable evil."

A doctor specializing in psychopathy penned a text to accompany a Kleivan exhibition in Stockholm, describing what evil is, its occurrence in men and women and how it affects us all, Haaretz reports.

He also wrote Kleivan that he had been discussing with colleagues whether or not her daughter would sustain long-term mental damage from being dressed up as these modern psychopaths. They decided that she wouldn't, but added, "Nevertheless, I recommend you save this letter."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.