The Great-Great-Granddaughter of Henri Matisse Is The Instagram Star of the Art World

He pushed the limits of impressionism. She certainly wants to make an impression.
Author:
Publish date:

What happens when you mix the haughty luxuriousness of the art world with the ever-expanding universe of Instagram celebrity? Chances are, you'll get someone like Gaia Matisse.

The 22-year-old great-great-grandaughter of legendary French artist Henri Matisse isn't your typical art world scion according to a length profile in W. Having spent virtually her entire life in museums and galleries, the art world scion is essentially "coasting on a name," as W puts it, rubbing shoulders with virtually every other luminary and celebutante from Paris Hilton and Tiffany Trump to Mickey Rourke (what?) and Elizabeth Kemp. 

Read the W profile in full, because you'll either be completely disgusted or vaguely enthralled. Matisse is, uh, quite a piece of work:

Gaia Matisse, the great-great-granddaughter of French painter Henri Matisse, walks into the Museum of Modern Art on a chilly Thursday afternoon wearing silk shorts, a crop top, and a white faux fur coat. Using her left hand, she removes oversized sunglasses from her face and with her right coddles Bambi, her “emotional support” Chihuahua. Bambi is wearing a custom Ralph Lauren sweater with his name monogrammed on it in baby blue script, which compliments his one blue eye. Unfortunately, Matisse left her mother’s all-access Sotheby’s card at her apartment on St. Mark’s Place, so she has to get in the ticket line with everyone else.

As her name suggests, Matisse is not like anyone else in this crowd. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine just outside of Paris to artists Sophie Matisse and Alain Jacquet, the 22-year-old spent her entire childhood in galleries, (although like most kids, she preferred the gift shops), and summers at “Teeny’s” country house — the wife of “Marce”Duchamp, who is her “great aunt or something.”

“Literally, you don’t understand; my family is so f—ing confusing,” Matisse declares with an eye-roll. She’s right, I don’t understand.

Anyway, Matisse is something of a triple threat, an aspiring actress (who isn't in New York), unapologetic fixture of the art world's society circuit, and, for some reason, an Instagram star with 23,000 followers.

With the latter, we can actually understand why. Matisse's photos provide a lens into a world at the intersection of luxury and culture that most people forget exist in the major metropolises of the United States. 

“I’m not afraid of showing any part of myself because it’s going to be revealed one way or another,” she told W. “No matter what, people are going to think of me as being blonde with big boobs. Like, ‘Oh she’s a slut. She’s never experienced anything hard in her life.’ But people don’t know me. And that’s fine, I don’t mind it…I have a tattoo that says, ‘Perception is reality.’ Because it literally is.”

Take a look, hmm?

Read the rest of the profile at W. You'll either love it or hate it, but as with all art, you'll definitely feel something.