Last weekend I was lucky enough to not only have a fun weekend in Chicago (my first visit) with an old high school friend, but to view this killer Matisse show at the Art Institute of Chicago, titled Radical Reinvention. Years ago, way back in art school, I was pretty into Matisse. You know, the patterns, the fishbowls etc. Well, as I tweeted the other day, I’d forgotten what a total badass he was. The show kinda blew me away. You can see how his paint application paved the way for the likes of Diebenkorn or even the Abstract Expressionists. His compositions were so thoughtful yet simple that I would’ve gotten them tattooed on my body if they were offering that up in the gift shop. The quote on the museum’s website by Matisse, “It has bothered me all my life that I don’t paint like anyone else” struck a particular chord with me. I often feel like I’m struggling with “wait, I need more negative space and owls” when I see other people’s work. Trying to get a grasp on that fear of pure creative independence. Which probably isn’t totally attainable, but trying to keep it real as much as possible.