Friday, October 2, 2015

The Dream in Red by Pablo Matisse

Dream in Red, 2015 (SOLD)
Pablo Matisse
Acrylic on canvas original (after H. Matisse and P. Picasso):
20” x 16”

In the original, Harmony in red, Matisse used a technique deployed by the impressionists to create an illusion of space by giving everything equal importance. In this painting I’m denying the viewer the fun of visual meandering by making Le Reve the focal point of the painting.
Marie-Therese said that when they met Picasso grabbed her by the arm and said, “I’m Picasso. You and I are going to do great things together!”
Little did she know that Picasso had an ambivalence towards the women he loved. Marie-Thérèse, Olga, Françoise, Dora Maar… all sacrificied at the altar of Picasso’s art. “For me there are only two kinds of women, goddesses and doormats”. Said Picasso.

The Making of The Dream in Red by Pablo Matisse

“The Dream in Red” after Picasso’s Le Reve and Matisse’s Harmony in Red. With so much red it seems hard to believe that the characters and decoration don’t get lost in it. But Matisse was a master of balancing color and pattern. Picasso’s dream girl is not easily lost. I started off with skin tone similar to The Pink Nude and then realized I had to tone it down. I relied on a dark outline where prudent to make any necessary elements pop. – Pablo Matisse

Harmony in Red by Henri Matisse

Harmony in Red, 1908
Oil on canvas
180 x 220 cm (The Hermitage, St. Petersburg)

The painting Russians call “The red room” is considered by many to be Matisse’s crowning achievement. When introduced in 1908 such a quantity of red had never been seen in European painting before. It features a maid putting fruit on a table in a room draped in red wallpaper. The color and patterns on the decorative tablecloth and the wallpaper are the same, flattening the picture plane. The view outside the window looks like a painting hung on the wall of the same room and hints at an array of organic patterns and serpentine plant forms outside that share the interior’s theme.

This “decorative panel” was intended for the dining room in the Moscow mansion of the famous Russian collector Sergey Shchukin. Eventually prerevolutionary art collections that include works by Picasso and Matisse were shut down by Stalin in 1948 as ideologically suspect. The painting emerged from Moscow cellars only after Stalin’s death.
The painting was not always red. Originally named “Harmony in Blue” Matisse painted over it to intensify the feeling of flatness. He was pushing the boundaries of the norm and advancing the avant garde. (The old man was a “bad-ass”) as the kids would say.
It’s been suggested that the dining-room is really a view of the artist inside his studio and that the maid is an alter ego of Matisse himself arranging the table in the same manner that the painter arranges a canvas. Now, if Matisse wore his hair in a bun I would say it was an uncanny likeness. But frankly, I’m not seeing it.

The Dream by Pablo Picasso

The Dream, 1932
Oil on canvas 130 x 97cm

Le Reve is famous for its $139 million price tag. And even more famous for its recent run-in with a stray elbow courtesy of a Las Vegas Casino magnate.
Its history is fascinating. The story goes that in 1931 Picasso saw a retrospective of Matisse in Paris. Keeping up with Henri he decided he had to have one.
He set to work on a series of crowd-pleasing, sentimental works that bordered on soft porn, hiding behind distortion as a means to mask his true feelings for his subject. Picasso’s erotic muse was Marie-Thérèse. She was a teenager that Picasso sweet-talked on a street in Paris. Soon they were lovers. And the 45 year old Picasso was walking on air. (Eventually she had his child and his attention drifted, and she killed herself. Did I mention this already?) Anyway, the painting depicts her sitting in a chair asleep, or gratifying herself, head to one side, one tit exposed, a smile on her face. And on one side of her face Picasso painted an upturned penis. His own, right? The retrospective was a hit.

Inspired by Matisse

Matisse and Picasso's influence is everywhere. Here is some remarkable body painting from Agostinoarts.

Blue Seated Nude by Pablo Matisse

Blue Seated Nude, 2015
Pablo Matisse
Acrylic on canvas original
(after H. Matisse and P. Picasso)
18 X 24"
$745. (Plus Tax and Shipping)

This painting pays homage to The Blue Nude by Henri Matisse and Picasso’s portrait of Marie-Therese. By putting these established icons together on one canvas I attempt to explore the dichotomy of stylistic intention behind the work of both artists. H. Matisse characteristically focused on simple, natural, organic shapes. Whereas Picasso, true to his Cubist ideology, has focused on complex machine-age geometric patterns to express the personality of his young mistress.
For sales contact dane.lachiusa at

The Making of Blue Seated Nude by Pablo Matisse

Henri Matisse worked with an enormous pair of scissors to cut out the shapes for his Jazz series. For me the most daunting task of creating this hybrid of Matisse’s Blue Nude and Picasso’s portrait of Marie-Therese was attempting to graphically assimilate something created in another medium. There is this intangible frenetic energy you get from viewing Matisse’s originals, and the spontaneity of cutting shapes out of paper is not something you can duplicate in a painting, I don’t think.

Blue Nude by Henri Matisse

Blue nude, 1952
Henri Matisse
Gouache and cut paper collage

Matisse pieced together this iconic figure from disjointed pieces of blue painted paper. The paper cutouts, allowed the artist “to draw in paper,” or “paint with scissors.” as he described it. This series, which he created after his illness, freed him up to simplify form and combine painting and drawing. During his final years, when illness left him bedridden, the cutouts became his only means of expression, but far from diminishing his creativity he succeeded in creating a new visual language. His cut-outs graced the covers of Verve magazine, and a few years later published Jazz, a limited edition book containing prints of his collages accompanied by his written thoughts.

Seated Woman (Marie-Therese)

Seated woman (Marie-Therese), 1937
Pablo Picasso
Oil on canvas

Picasso painted this the same year as Guernica. It was a prolific year for him, to say the least. The influence of his young muse had reinvigorated him. Marie-Therese was 17. They even had a daughter together. He was still married to Olga. When Picasso fell in love with another mistress, Dora Maar, Marie-Therese teemed with jealousy. Four years after Picasso died in 1977 Marie-Therese hung herself.
Pictured here, in 1937, is his mistress depicted tenderly, but monstrously. Picasso has borrowed patterns from his harlequin series, where he saw himself as a sinister trickster.

Eugenio Recuenco Photography

“Stunning” is how I would describe Eugenio Recuenco’s homage to Picasso photographs. Influenced by fine art, this amazing Spanish fashion photographer and film director creates elaborate handmade sets and portrays imaginary worlds with a spooky gothic vibe that brings his characters to life.

Harlequin Sailor 2015, by Pablo Matisse

Harlequin Sailor, 2015
Pablo Matisse
Acrylic on canvas original
(after H. Matisse and P. Picasso)
16” x 20”
$725. (Tax and Shipping additional)

While consciously derivative of Picasso’s Seated Harlequin and Matisse’s Young Sailor, I also borrow from Matisse’s cut-outs with shapes that attempt to camouflage the work’s sexual ambiguity. The male presence of the sailor is seemingly machismo compared to the fanciful decorative frills and patterns of the harlequin costume. The familiar argyle pattern motif serves as the focal point of this hybrid painting, symbolic of clowns and acrobats of Picasso’s time. –Pablo Matisse
Contact for sales or interest: dane.lachiusa at yahoo dot com

The Making of The Harlequin Sailor by Pablo Matisse

My decision to pair Matisse’s young sailor with Picasso’s seated harlequin was quite arbitrary. The whole process is an experiment, juxtaposing motifs from everyone’s favorite modern masters. Rather than trace the originals I begin by drawing out a charcoal outline. I am hoping that the result feels organic, hoping that some inexactitude
will add to the charm. At this stage the painting looks very flat and posterized. Where are we? We are not sitting at a table across from the subject in the cafe that Picasso imagined his subject. As I bring the painting to its conclusion my introduction of cut-out shapes from Matisse’s toolbox further pushes this idea of multiple temporalities.
I’m sure the nature of my work invites comparison. In which case, we all know who would win, and isn’t me. Of course, my intention is not the same. As an appropriation artist I’m merely exploring the idiom. It is a fun endeavor to build castles in Spain, as it were, to see what might have happened if these two art rivals had worked side by side on the same canvas and what they might have made of it. I’m sure what they might have made of it is art beyond my limited scope, of course. But I hope you enjoy my attempt to reference both styles, “North and South Poles”, just the same. –Pablo Matisse

The Young Sailor by Henri Matisse

The Young Sailor, 1906
Henri Matisse
Oil on canvas

Henri Matisse was already considered the leader of The Fauves (French for Wild Beasts) when he painted The Young Sailor in 1906. This movement, considered avant-garde at the time, reduced painting to simple forms, gay colors, and unrestrained brushwork to interpret nature and realism.

The model is an eighteen-year-old fisherman, from a small Mediterranean village. Thoughtful observation reveals rather theatrical looks of the subject, his green and blue outfit is set against the pink, candy-colored background, which seem to push Matisse’s decorative Fauve agenda.

Seated Harlequin by Pablo Picasso

Seated Harlequin, 1901
Pablo Picasso
Oil on canvas

This gloomy painting takes on cool blue tones characteristic of Picasso’s early Blue Period works and a subject matter emblematic of his Rose Period. By 1905, clowns and circus folk were a common theme in his work. Picasso’s use of broad, flat planes of color and thick outlined shapes seem to hint at a Fauvist influence. Was Picasso borrowing from Matisse already without having been formally introduced? Most often Picasso's works from this period portray impoverished street people as he attempted to portray the real Paris, perhaps. It is suggested that the mood of this picture, and others at the time, reflect his emotional state after the suicide of his friend and fellow artist Casagemas.