Una marca de ropa que estampa una silueta femenina simplificada en una camisa. Check. Una reproducción de los recortes de Matisse colgada en la casa de tu influencer danesa favorita. Check. Un nuevo café de moda con una pared repleta de caras abstractas. Check. Un bolso, una vasija y un cojín con motivos ilustrados de objetos inanimados en colores sólidos. Check. Joyería que elude a un rostro femenino. Check. Llevaba meses sabiéndolo, pero por alguna razón no había hecho una observación consciente sobre la abrumadora presencia de Matisse y Picasso en nuestro mundo visual contemporáneo./ A fashion brand that stamps a simplified feminine silhouette on a t-shirt. Check. A reproduction of Matisse’s cutouts hanging in the home of your favorite Danish influencer. Check. A new trendy café with a wall full of abstract faces. Check. A purse, a vase and a pillow with illustrated motifs of inanimate objects in solid colors. Check. Jewelry that eludes a female face. Check. I had known for months, but for some reason I hadn’t made a conscious observation about the overwhelming presence of Matisse and Picasso in our contemporary visual world.



Una búsqueda en Google arroja miles de resultados, pero salta a la vista la relación simbiótica entre Henri Matisse y Pablo Picasso. No se puede hablar del creador francés sin su contraparte española, muchas de las cosas que solemos decir “inspiración Matisse” están más inspiradas en el trabajo de Picasso y viceversa (a veces en ambos), pero de hecho el trabajo creativo de estos dos maestros se retroalimentaba y su amistad incómoda cambió para siempre el mundo del arte y la manera en la que se consumía./ A Google search throws thousands of results, but the symbiotic relationship between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso is obvious. You cannot speak of the French creator without his Spanish counterpart, many of the things that we usually call “Matisse inspiration” are more inspired by the work of Picasso and vice versa (sometimes both), but in fact the creative work of these two masters was complementary and their uncomfortable friendship changed the art world and the way it was consumed.

Matisse y Picasso se conocieron en París en 1906 y tenían una admiración mutua por el trabajo del otro y también a un referente común: Paul Cézanne, cuyas obras también han ayudado a moldear la manera en la que vemos ciertos objetos y paisajes contemporáneos./ Matisse and Picasso met in Paris in 1906 and had a mutual admiration for each other’s work and also a common reference: Paul Cézanne, whose works have also helped shape the way we see certain contemporary objects and landscapes.

Tomando el trabajo de Cézanne como referencia, Matisse (mayor y más experimentado) decidió trabajar con colores sólidos y brillantes, con recortes de papel y formas audaces pero más simplificadas. Picasso, más joven y experimental hizo lo contrario, apostando por deconstruir las siluetas ideadas por Cézanne y fracturar el cuerpo humano y los objetos, con colores menos intensos./ Taking Cézanne’s work as a reference, Matisse (older and more experienced) decided to work with bright and solid colors, with paper cutouts and bold but more simplified shapes. Picasso was younger and more experimental, so he did the opposite, betting on deconstructing the silhouettes devised by Cézanne and fracturing the human body and objects, with less intense colors.

In this artwork (from left to right): Céline SS17 Ready To Wear Collection + Byredo Vetyver Hand Wash + Minna Goods Blanket + Henri Matisse Nu Bleu II 


Matisse se disgustaría unos años después, cuando lo hecho por Picasso se conociera como Cubismo y alcanzara el status de marca (Citroen incluso intentó comprar los derechos). Matisse había trabajado duro en desarrollar una interpretación seria del trabajo de Cézanne y la comparación con el trabajo increíblemente abstracto de Picasso, hizo que el francés se tomara la fama del español como algo casi personal, aunque los recortes de Matisse también fueron aplaudidos por la manera en que logró reducir las formas a su mínima esencia. Esto derivó en una relación incómoda pero educada, donde algunas veces se criticaban a sus espaldas pero a la vez valoraban y reconocían el trabajo y la importancia del otro, en un intercambio implícito en sus obras que se puede ver en la manera en la que ambos abordaron cosas desde un mismo ángulo pero cada uno con su toque especial./ Matisse would be upset a few years later, when Picasso became famous for his style, coined as Cubism and reaching a brand status (Citroen even tried to buy the rights). Matisse had worked hard to develop a serious interpretation of Cézanne’s work, and Picasso did an abstract approach. Matisse took this almost personally but he was also applauded for his cut outs, reducing the forms to their minimum essence. All of this resulted in an uncomfortable but educated relationship, where sometimes they criticized each other behind each other’s backs, but at the same time they valued and recognized the work and importance of the other, in an implicit exchange in their works


¿Y por qué Matisse y Picasso están en todos lados? No hay que dar por hecho que esos calcetines con recortes frutales y el Nu Bleu I (eI cuadro omnipresente en las casas más bonitas de Instagram) están de moda por algo fortuito./ And why are Matisse and Picasso everywhere? It should not be taken for granted that those socks with fruit cutouts and the Nu Bleu I (the ubiquitous picture in the most beautiful houses on Instagram) are in fashion for something fortuitous.

En una vorágine de elementos visuales que recibimos a diario resulta cada vez más difícil ver donde empieza una tendencia, donde acaba y como muta, así que el principio ARTE DISEÑO COMERCIALIZACIÓN MASIVA se acelera. El sitio EYE ON DESIGN entrevistó a artistas que llevan años trabajando con un estilo similar al de Matisse y al de Picasso, mencionando que esta estética está comenzando a alcanzar niveles de saturación, ya que su presencia masiva aplasta su belleza (como cualquier otra tendencia que se explota)./ In a vortex of visual elements that we receive daily, it is increasingly difficult to see where a trend begins, where it ends and how it mutates, so the ART DESIGN MASS MARKETING principle accelerates. The site EYE ON DESIGN interviewed artists who have been working for years with a style inspired by Matisse and Picasso, mentioning that this aesthetic is beginning to reach a saturation level, since its massive presence crushes its beauty (like any other trend that is exploited).

In this artwork (from left to right): Pablo Picasso Tete de Femme + Macintosh Finder Icon + Christiane Spansberg + Octaevo Paper Vases + Paloma Wool Tops 

– GOOD COMBO: Los estilos de Matisse y Picasso crean una buena combinación con la estética millennial que hemos estado viendo por años: colores sólidos, formas contundentes, el rosa como leitmotiv, el terrazzo y las plantas que abrazan nuestras casas de 50 metros cuadrados./ GOOD COMBO: The styles of Matisse and Picasso create a good combination with the millennial aesthetic that we have been seeing for years: solid colors, bold shapes, pink as leitmotiv, terrazzo and plants that enhance our 50 square meter apartments.

– THE IDEAL OF BEAUTY:  Nos encantan los visuales de Matisse por esa idea democrática de la belleza, porque no existe y sin embargo te puedes identificar con los rasgos más comunes de esa cara sintetizada, nadie puede llegar a verse como ese rostro lunar (¿esto va ligado a la infantilización de la vida que tenemos los millennials?). Y sobre las mujeres de Picasso tenemos esas figuras femeninas que se alejan del canon establecido, formas sinuosas que se alejan de un molde tradicional./ We love Matisse’s visuals for the democratic idea of beauty, because it doesn’t exist and yet you can identify with the most common features of that synthesized face, nobody can achieve to look like that lunar face (this is maybe linked to the infantilization of life that we have as millennials). And we love Picasso’s female shapes, because they move away from the established canon, sinuous shapes that don’t fit in the traditional mold.

In order of appearance: 1) JW Anderson Moon Face Earring + 2) Marleigh Culver + 3) Kokekit & OF by Oracle Fox + 4) Zara + 5) Dauphinette NYC + 6) Dora Szentmihalyi Blanket, H&M Vase, ABS Objects + 7) Rachel Saunders, Color Temperature + 8) Christine Spansberg, Tata Naka + 9) Paloma Wool + 10) Victoria Beckham Shirt, Elso Jewels, Sofia Schizas Print + 11) Lisa Says Gah!


Los verdaderos influencers son esas personas que han diseñado algo de una manera tan bien ejecutada, que tiene la capacidad de sobrevivir a 70 años para adaptarse al discurso de nuevas generaciones. Inventar el hilo negro es imposible, las formas sólo se reinventan para adaptarse a formatos que puedan convivir con nuevas generaciones, pero el corazón de las cosas y el concepto base siempre permanece./ Real influencers are those who have designed something in such a well executed way, things that can survive 70 years to fit into to the discourse of new generations. Discovering the black thread is impossible, shapes are only reinvented to adapt to new formats that can coexist with new generations, but the heart of things and the basic concept always remains.

Durante mi proceso de investigación para este post, alguna cosa cayó en mi cesta de compra, me declaro culpable./ During my research process for this post, some items accidentally ended in my shopping basket, I plead guilty.

Sources & references: The Sydney Morning Herald + BBC UK + The Guardian + FLUX Magazine + AIGA Eye On Design + My Modern MET + A Constellation + VOGUE USA

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  • I’ve always been really fascinated with the relation between fashion, art and society. I wrote a lot about it when I did my bachelor in art history and I remember that I at first was so surprised that art history isn’t more present in fashion than what it is today. I see so much potential in contemporary but also classic art that could be turned into fun fashion pieces. Talk about making fashion more artsy and alive!

    This was such an interesting and joyful read Pablo! I love reading your views on fashion/art/design in general! Xx

    • Thanks Mia!

      I love how we can take art as an endless reference to talk about fashion!

      Stay safe!

  • Oh I love when you talk about art. Your article is so interesting. I’m a huge fashion and art books lover so reading your post feels like I’m just reading a page of ones of theses books. The link between art and fashion is always so interesting. Oh wow I didn’t know Matisse and Picasso already met. That’s awesome !
    And your collages are so good. I never thought of Picasso when looking at the Macintosh icon but it does look obvious now.
    And I love the simplified silhouette we can’t stop to see everywhere on tee-shirt. I really need one of theses tee-shirts. And now I want a Mattise illustration on my living room haha.
    And the last quote of your article made me smiled because now I also want to purchase all theses items.

    • Thanks for reading Margot 🙂 I’m glad to read that you found out something interesting in this post.

      Art is everywhere and you can find a lot of references in fashion, its a neverending source of inspiration.

      Let me know if you buy one of these garments or accessories!

  • What a great post and great read. Yes indeed they really did both influence modern day contemporary culture and graphics and art. Matisse is more feminine and approachable then Picasso but yes you can see both artists influence everywhere.

    Allie of

  • Hey Pablo, how you doin? Was this kinda of back to normality a relief to you?
    Here the phase 2 seems going well, let’s hope it keeps on going like this! 🙂

    Anyway, omG I totaly love your first pic! That’s really statement: you should print it and hang on the wall at your place!!!
    I’m a huge lover of the story of art ( in fact I’ve even did many exams on it when I studied fashion design) and, of course, fashion, so this is the kind of topic I could talk for hours!
    To be true I’m not a huge admirer of modern art (at least not of all) since i was always used to the classical: my (parents) home is full of paintings but not even one is modern, the furniture is almost all antique trade, my parents are both huge lovers of classical art, music and literature, plus I live in one of the most ancient and archeological zone of Rome, so I was almost brainwashed since born to appreciate classic art . ^^’
    Anyway thare are many modern artists that I really like, like Picasso and even Matisse ( even if, for this one, not every work), basically because I saw the works of both artists in museums, and from live are very impressive for colors and lines, not even comparable with the pictures you see in the books!
    No wonder many designers took them as “inspiration”! They were genial! And since they’re kinda of classic right now, you can steal with no regrets!
    If I had a my own place I’d definitely love to put on the walls these kind of works!
    Plus I guess Picasso had to be a very fun and original person to know, you even share his name! 😀

    Take care my friend,

    • Hey Silvia! Here’s everything good, I mean it is still weird but at least you can go out but I always wear my mask and carry my hand sanitizer haha!

      Thank you so much for your feedback! As you, I could take about the relation of art and design and fashion for hours, there is an endless circle that provides endless inspirations and references.

      PS: And yes, I share the name with Picasso hahaha!

  • Hey Fungi!

    Your article is always exciting and perfect!
    Your portrait with Matisse blue accent is so great, Fungi!
    When I see your new article, I look at all of your collages and illustrations at first.
    They inspired me without words. Next, I read the text about them with coffee.
    It is wonderful time 🙂

    I didn’t know that Matisse and Picasso were inspired each other.
    It is so interesting, so I would love to know about more their art 🙂
    EYE ON DESIGN is brilliant website! Your links are like jewel for me!

    Thank you for your help always, and I hop you have a wonderful day with your new items 🙂


    • Thank you so much for your sweet words, Akiko 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed this blog post and hope you’re doing good!

  • Hey Fungi,

    I love when art and fashion come together. They’re both a wonderful expression of oneself. I’ve got to be honest, this is the first time I learn about Matisse thanks to you.

    I really like that Paloma shirt with the faces. Would be so cool to throw on with denim shorts.

    Hope you’re having a great day. Happy weekend!

    • Thanks for visiting, Radi!

      Paloma Wool is one of the coolest designers out there, let me know if you find it in the US!

  • I really love this kind of art blog post because it is very informative and I really like how you convey your thoughts. Now that you mention it, i’ve started to realise that there are so many Picasso’s and Matisse’s influence everywhere. From art, furniture, even fashion. Totally love their style and to realise how versatile it is, it makes me love it even more. Thank you for sharing the story of these two great influencers of our time! And your collage / artwork is wonderful as always Fungi !

    • Yes! I bet you can find a lot of references from these two artists in Singapore too!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • I love that first collage with you and blue lines. Your article was fascinating to read. You have taught me so much about these two painters and their influence. I didn’t know that Matisse and Picasso met. I imagine it was a complex relationship as artists are often complex individuals. I wish I had the opportunity to see the works of Picasso and Matisse in person. I feel that with their work, it is had to get a feeling from pictures you see in books. One problem is that it is hard to ‘imagine’ the actual size of the painting. Things just don’t look the same in small print. I do feel like I got a better appreciation of their art after studying it for a bit (more in the case of Picasso, I haven’t studied Matisse that much and know only a bit about him). Actually seeing some documentary photographs of Picasso while he was doing painting was helpful. It help me understand his artistic vision better. I think to understand the art of these two painters, it is important to understand the historical context of the times they lived in.

    • Hey dear Ivana, I’m always happy to read your comments, specially in art blog posts since I know you love this topic too 🙂

      And you mentioned something that is really important, in order to understand artworks of many creators we have to talk about the context and the circumstances 🙂

      Stay safe!

  • It’s interesting to see how many times creativity from one person can spark and idea and make a new creative piece by someone else! I don’t know a lot about art history but I do see lots of shared inspiration int he fashion world and this was an interesting read, thank you! 🙂

    Hope you are having a great weekend 🙂 We celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday, just at home with takeaway but it was nice 🙂

    • Hola Sofía! Gracias por comentar!

      A mí tampoco me encanta Picasso (prefiero por mucho a Matisse), salvo algunas pinturas, eso sí, su legado fue muy importante, tanto que lo seguimos viendo hoy en día!

  • ¡Qué interesante, no tenía ni idea de dónde venía esta nueva tendencia! Contigo siempre aprendo un montón sobre arte, eres súper guay 🙂

    La verdad es que la historia del arte nunca se me dio muy bien, siempre me armaba un lío con las diferentes etapas y estilos… Y bueno, a parte, que mi creatividad en este campo es nula, me salen churros la mayoría de las veces… En cambio, soy muy fan de la historia de la música y me encantó estudiarla tanto en bachillerato como en la universidad.

    No te sientas culpable por haber pecado, hay cosas súper chulas y es genial adquirir pequeñas y originales piezas de arte en forma de ropa/decoración que muy poca gente tiene. ¡Eso las hace ser únicas y muy especiales!

    Un besito, Pablo ❤
    Melania |

    • Melania, no sabes el gusto que me da que hayas aprendido un poquito, siempre es bonito conocer cosas nuevas y ver que lo que nos rodea viene de otras mentes creativas!

      Un abrazote!

  • I loved every single collage presented here, you are so talented!

    I never realized just how many Matisse references are out there, until I read this post. I now run a list of places in my head, where I have seen either interior design pieces or actual clothes and fabrics inspired by his work. I do, however, side with Picasso and of course Dali (our fellow Taurus). You can see their influence everywhere you look too. I wonder what great artist will inspire brands next!