A plastic sculpture of Kim Jong-il from artist Stephen Ives’ series ‘Mr. Dictator Head.’
Belief has to be suspended to enter the worlds I create. When the audience no longer sees the puppets strings they will then believe the puppet is real.
—artist Stephen Ives
The sculptures in this post are a part of a series by Melbourne-based artist Stephen Ives called “Mr. Dictator Head.”
For the 2010 series, Ives’ created rather hauntingly accurate Mr. Potato Head sculptures in the image of various historical tyrants such as Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Lenin, even Margaret Thatcher. In the spirit of the original toy (and to make a point about the interchangabilty of tyrants, no doubt) Ives even reused various facial aspects of each dictator to create a new one—so to create his potato head Hussein he combined Mao Zedong’s plastic cheeks, the eyes used to make potato head Hitler and the lips of the “Butcher of Uganda” Idi Amin. Ives’ sculptures are amusing but they most definitely give off an equally sinister vibe. Especially when you consider the real-life track records of each.