Robert Therrien is an American artist known primarily as a sculptor, but he has also worked with painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. His works contain everyday objects which he recycles and reinterprets while frequently challenging the notion of perspective.
Therrien was doing drawings and screen-printed art works incorporating the red devil subject matter in the late 1990s. The wallpaper design with the red devil follows the theme of the change of scale. The very small-scale devil is shown against a very coarse, loosely woven fabric, giving the impression the devil could climb the background pattern much like a rope ladder.
This paper was a private commission and was not produced with commercial production in mind. It was to be used and enjoyed by the homeowner and his guests. While this is unusual it is not without historic precedent. The majority of papers in Cooper-Hewitt's collection were mass produced for residential and/or commercial use but there are examples of hand-painted papers, as well as private commissions and limited production. This group would include papers produced for the Royal Pavilion at Brighton in the 1820s; six papers designed by Pugin around 1850 for the Houses of Parliament and other private commissions; and one of the most iconic wallpapers, Cow, designed by Andy Warhol in 1966, which was created as an installation piece for the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City.