Artist: Sam Field
Medium: Oil on canvas aluminium composite
Artist Location: West Hobart
Smoking and Drinking at Maharaja Curry Palace is a self-portrait of myself smoking and drinking at Maharaja Curry Palace. Maharaja Curry Palace is behind my studio in the city and I go there often by myself to smoke and drink. The original portrait was of Maharaja Curry Palace itself however a friend pointed out to me that a painting of a restaurant is not technically a portrait of a person so I included myself in the painting.
I have painted myself wearing a traditional pith helmet worn by the British Raj during the occupation of India in the 19th century. The particular style of helmet was incorporated into the uniforms of many 19th century colonial powers including England, Spain, France and Germany and became associated with colonial rule and oppression during this period. I have also included some Elephants, Kingfishers, and Lotus flowers in the painting which are generally symbolic of peace, strength, and purity in many Indian cultures. They are things that I am failing to find while Smoking and Drinking at Maharaja Curry Palace.