I can't remember the exact year I created this art piece. It was for a River Forest homeowner who loved France and everything about it. She traveled there often with or without friends and loved the food, culture and lifestyle. She also loved Toulouse Lautrec's art style.
She had a very small house in a quiet western suburb of Chicago...A VERY small house! In her VERY small house on the second floor of her VERY small bedroom was a VERY SMALL bathroom. I say this because...I am kind of a big guy: At 6'1" and about 190lbs. My customer was taller than me and I felt very small when the two of us stood in together.
She wanted me to create a wrap-around mural of the art of Toulouse Lautrec in her VERY small bathroom off of her VERY small bedroom. So.....the two of us bumped and squeezed ourselves together into the VERY small bathroom and we bumped and squeezed past each other as I looked at the size of the VERY small room. In honesty...I felt like the two of us were standing in a phone booth that coincidentally also had a toilet and a shower.
I went home and studied Toulouse Lautrec's style of one painting she really enjoyed: 'Dance at the Moulin Rouge'. I used this one art piece to create her mural. So; when you stood in the doorway of her VERY small bathroom and looked straight ahead to the left over the toilet you saw the painting of 'the boneless man' dancer and the ballroom he was in as background. I used the exaggerated perspective of the floor to visually flatten out the fact that you are really viewing a corner of the VERY small room. In truth this painting is on a 90 degree angle of two walls.
I used the background 'noise' of the busy people in the ballroom to complete the wall area to the left which went behind the mirror over the bathroom sink. There was only one more large wall section and it had a necessary window right in the center of the VERY LARGE wall of the VERY SMALL bathroom. I say necessary because this room was pretty much like standing in a shoe box and your 'eye' really needed to feel as though there was some kind of escape nearby. Anyway...There was this visual problem...A large window right in the middle of the art. It ruined this illusion of standing in the center of my Lautrec painting that I was trying to convey.
The window happened to have a canvas roman shade. A style of shade that was in large horizontal folds and when you pulled a string and it folded upwards like a curtain in a theatre. The fact that it was canvas gave me a great idea. I continued with the rest of the art work background to the right and onto the remaining wall space filling and completing the room. One element remained: the window and it happened to be exactly where the other 'part' of this painting was missing.
I had taken the liberty of pulling 'the boneless man' forward and making him a prominent feature of her art...the missing piece of this painting was a beautiful woman in a red dress and she was painted onto the roman style shade. So that when you pulled the shade down for privacy...the art work was completed and the window vanished into the woman.