Sketch of a standing male figure outlined in dark blue spray paint to the left of a color rendering of the same male figure outlined in light blue standing next to a chair. The name “DAVID” stenciled at bottom left of center. Composed of various materials, including patent leather, felt, plastic, wool and spray paint on canvas.
“Napoleon Standing Next to a Chair” is a re-working of Rivers’ 1964 piece “The Greatest Homosexual,” which was based on Jacques-Louis David’s 1812 “Napoleon in His Study,” and executed using the artist’s signature gestural handling of the figure and characteristic silhouettes. The reinterpretation is both an homage to and a parody of David’s Old Master painting, exposing self-important state portraiture as kitschy political propaganda.