Field is interested in the role that images play in not only communicating but also misleading. In this piece, he was exploring the notion of the fabricated spectacle as it relates to the 2017 inauguration. He was reminded of Ernst Meissonier’s painting 1807, Friedland. He was perhaps the most famous painters of his day and yet he largely disappeared into obscurity in part due to his unpopular support of Napoleon. In his painting, Napoleon is mounted on a white stallion at the center of the image and is elevated above all of the other figures, raising him to monumental stature despite his actual stature being notoriously the inverse. In Field’s painting, the figure is instead mounted on a war-like red stallion and holding a saber, impossibly large compared to the surrounding architecture. The buildings have the classical hallmarks of the National Mall but are decidedly elsewhere. The empty stands bear witness to the glorified figure and simply say “STAND” alluding to both the structure itself and also as a decree, demanding fealty from the non-existent audience.
Stand for the Emperor’s Clothes (2017) 24″ x 36″ | Oil, Acrylic, Gouache on Canvas | $2,400