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Henri's Red

Playful and potent, Henri’s Red is inspired by Henri Matisse and the everyday objects he imbued with extraordinary meaning. It beckons us to look a bit deeper, juxtapose wild ideas, and delve into our surroundings with new vigor. This limited glaze is a rare gem. Enjoy it across the select forms below.

From East Fork Founder, Alex Matisse

On the heels of MoMA’s exhibition of The Red Studio, and a nod to a relatively unknown thread of influence on East Fork: my great-grandfather, Henri Matisse. Behind this warm and invigorating red lies a more complicated story of my youth spent standing under that massive shadow. And then the often maddening force inside me that drove me to step out from under it and build something that stands on its own, alongside but separate from the story of my family’s legacy. Today East Fork is known far and wide—but not for my famous last name, which I was taught as a child was not to be traded on. Many people’s stories are now twined together to form East Fork’s; this one’s felt freer to be a part of it. A fun sidenote among the many that our customers discover as they get to know us better. I used to feel crushed by the weight of that shadow but it’s lighter now. Henri’s Red is a celebration of that part of our story, and a sign of how far we’ve come. - Alex Matisse, East Fork Founder

“If you’re going to be an artist, if you’re going to create, do that, but you just have to do with the fullness of yourself. For him, his art was his way of being the best person he could be"

- Sophie Matisse, great-granddaughter of Henri Matisse

East Fork Founder Alex Matisse sat down with his sister, Sophie Matisse to discuss different facets of growing up with the Matisse name, their family history in creating art, and how they have moved out of that shadow to build their own legacy while continuing to honor their Great-Grandfather, Henri Matisse. Watch the full video below.

Everyday Objects

Henri Matisse had a deep and pure love for everyday objects. A glass vase or pewter jug became a muse when the light hit it just right, sending a cascade of inspiration through Matisse’s mind and into his paintbrush.

Imbuing inanimate objects with meaning was one of his many passions, a lens for seeing the world in unexpected ways, and a language for communicating these bold ideas.. He ate amongst them, painted beside them, slept in their shadows.

These treasures witnessed his passing months and years, sending him unexpected sparks of creativity during quiet moments.

“I do not paint that table,
but the emotion it produces upon me.”

- Henri Matisse

We have a similar devotion to objects that balance functionality with enduring beauty. Internally, we dismiss the categorization of our work as art, but that doesn’t mean we downplay their contribution—functional objects can hold rich meaning in our cultural zeitgeist well outside of an artist’s studio. There is inherent beauty in the mug that’s in the background of all your favorite photos, or the serving bowl that anchors memories of family meals long gone. Rather than spiraling too deep into the age-old question “what is art,” perhaps you could pose it in a playful moment at your next dinner party. Maybe you’ll find fresh answers in the angle of a walnut spoon resting in a ceramic bowl, or the contrast of lemon chiffon pie against a vivd red serving platter.

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