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Daniel Gordon: Matisse Inspired Photography

By Ruth Dunn on June 18th 2013

Photographer and artist Daniel Gordon recently released a new series of work inspired by the colorful and revolutionary artworks of French artist Henri Matisse. The title of Gordon’s latest series, ‘The Green Line’, is a direct reference to Matisse’s well-known 1905 portrait of his wife, titled ‘The Green Stripe’.

Matisse is visually referenced in several of Gordon’s works including large scale still lifes and portraits, along with a selection of smaller works operating as isolated studies. In order to make these works, Gordon takes photographic images from the internet, prints them, then cuts and tears them to build 3D tableaus which he then photographs with a an 8 x 10 inch view camera.


Daniel Gordon, Portrait with Blue Hair, 2013, chromogenic print, 45 x 36 in, ed of 3

Gordon’s works are a melding together of fragmented elements from reality which come together to make a coherent whole, despite the fact that they are made up of a variety of perspectives, profiles and people.

Gordon’s process can be seen as a kind of physical form of Photoshop, as he slices, cuts, glues, stages, arranges and recycles before taking the photograph–a reversal on the digital process where a photograph would first be taken then edited.

Gordon told Slate:

“I’m interested in taking ideas that were radical in Matisse’s day (collapsing space through the blending of foreground and background, multiple angles viewed at the same time, and Fauvist color and expression, among others) and moving them into a contemporary photographic space. I suppose it’s a kind of physical version of Photoshop that’s playing with a big history and multiple mediums.”

An exhibition of Gordon’s recent series can be seen at M+B gallery Los Angeles until 29 June, 2013. Click here for more info.



Ruth is a Brisbane based journalist specialising in articles about visual art, photography, design and fashion. Co-founder of Raw Ink magazine, she enjoys uncovering interesting and unique events, issues and people to write about.

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