“The Dictator” – 1964

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“The Dictator,” like a number of Hirshman’s artworks, needs no title to serve the story. There is no mistaking a finger-noosed despot, lording over a sea of buttonholed, “fasten”ated zombies (except perhaps for the 13 unbuttoned faces with the red thread of mouths that Hirshman left with a “voice”). While verging on simplistic propaganda, for a Jewish artist who lived through the likes of Hitler and more, the possibility of such a scene coming true was all too real.

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