Rosenquist’s experience as a billboard painter contributed to a unique vision; his imagery shifts from telescopic to microscopic. Rosenquist bears witness to this country’s triumphs and defeats, its explorations of outer space, and its inquiry into inner truths. Every four years since 1964, the artist has created a “Presidential Election” painting, a “reality check” on the viability and survival of the American Dream. Against a background of trade wars and star wars, “Masquerade” sets into perspective man’s proclivity for destruction—the Stealth bomber—and nature’s wondrous capacity for creation—the butterfly emerging from the caterpillar.
Artist James Rosenquist, American, 1933 - 2017
  • Masquerade of the Military Industrial Complex Looking Down on the Insect World
Date 1992
Medium oil and mixed media on canvas
Dimensions Overall: 90 inches × 29 feet 2 inches (228.6 cm × 8 m 89 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, gift of Mrs. George Kamperman by exchange
Accession Number 1993.62
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
Not On View
Signed Signed, back of panels: James Rosenquist
the artist;
(Castelli Gallery, New York, New York, USA);
1993-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
James Rosenquist. Exh. cat., Castelli Gallery. New York, 1993, pp. 16-17.

Van der Marck, Jan. "The Detroit Institute of Arts." In James Rosenquist: The Big Paintings. New York, 1994, n.p.