A Photo & Perfume art exhibition named Porter Sa Peau (Wearing One's Skin) has just opened on October 15th, 2020, at Gallery NeC (Paris).
Its visual part of 23 compositions was created by Roberto Greco (above), the photo artist with a special devotion for still art, scents and niche perfumery. You may have seen perfumes by Corps Volatils, AETHER, Perris Monte Carlo, Liquides Imaginaires, Room 1015, Evody, Le Galion, Les Bains Guerbois, Houbigant and many other niche brands through his lens and his eyes. Please, find out more on his previous artworks and views in Miguel’s interview, or at his personal website.
You may remember his previous Photo & Perfume collaboration named Oellieres as well - it took place at the same NeC gallery two years ago, and Oellieres Objet Parfumant was created in collaboration with Marc-Antoine Corticchiato.
The olfactory part for the new exhibition, a fragrance named Porter Sa Peau L’Objet Parfumant, was created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Senior Perfumer and Perfume Creation Vice-President of Givaudan, who is the creator of many famous Tom Ford, John Varvatos, Donna Karan, Arquiste, Thom Browne, Aether, Le Galion, Avon, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, and Elizabeth Arden fragrances…
"In the Porter Sa Peau (Wearing One's Skin) series, I extract scenes from my memory in which my life is seen through distorting mirrors. The symbolism of the objects I stage is partly drawn from 17th century art, or sometimes imply viewed through my own prism.
Each scene explodes into several new compositions that bolster the main narrative.
As murky and misty as memory, these images’ asperities compel us to slow down in order to take them in more fully, at the risk of getting scratched by their hidden rough patches.
Whether it is the way I envision my origins as an Italian born in Switzerland or a father, or a tribute to my mother, this new photographic work is about me, leaning down to better see my own reflection.” - Roberto Greco.
Roberto worked on the visual part for 3 years, and it was really hard task. "Looking into myself is not an easy thing to do, but once you decide to do it, you have to be ready to show it to others, and that's another dilemma with yourself. Am I ready to be exposed that much? Will people be interested in my story? Do I need people to be interested in my story? It was a never-ending questioning with myself. Doubting was maybe the main process with that work!" Then he organized 23 photo compositions in 4 chapters.
Dogs and Italians, keep out!
Because I had to run after flags that were either too high or too far. To find my place between the restrained welcome of some, and the heated opposition of others. Because I’ve had to be agile to transfigure this duality into an identity.
Howling at the Moon.
Because in the comedy we play, you only have Pierrot’s first name. Beside you, Harlequin yelps without any echo. From ricochets to boomerangs.
Because suspending the Angelus was seeing the world through diluvian love. And since the maternal tongue was never forked, it was useless to erect myself. After her, the deluge.
Reflecting my Narcissus. Because peeling off the surface is reaching the kernel.
Interpreting psyche through a maze of surrealist mirrors. Unveiling a panorama, even if I have to invent it. Perceptual confusion precedes a certain clarity.
Roberto Greco: “Porter Sa Peau (Wearing One's Skin) is the reflection of my way of thinking – deformed as it may be – and of my life experience. Wearing my skin like I’d wear blinders, to see better and farther, has been my way of looking into myself through a series of photographs.
"I have had to lean down to perceive the shimmering image of another me. Naturally, the narcissus flower was the obvious choice when I started thinking of this fragrance with perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux.
"Beyond its symbolism, its ambivalent facets expressed the rawness of nature as well as a more carnal imagery. To materialize the grainy and misty texture I gave to my images, in which perceptual confusion gives way to a form of clarity, we have played on the nostalgia of aldehydes, blowing cool and hot facets. The floral down of pale hawthorn blends with the insidious velvet touch of moist flesh, before vanishing into the animalic fumes of salty musks and an ambergris accord."
Roberto Greco: "...with Porter sa peau L’Objet Parfumant I wanted to evoke a sensation, a texture. The goal was to recall feelings, like a hot and cold breath, a cloudy salty skin, or wet vapor, in an atmosphere that starts retro and nostalgic but transforms itself in a more modern way. When you look at the photo series, at first you may believe that it's only about gentle, calm and romantic poetry, but the more you look into the images the more you understand that there are more, deep meanings and symbolisms, sometimes even a bit dark.
That's why I asked Rodrigo to play with sneaky animalic vibes for the evolution of the scent. I didn't want a literally "animalic scent" but I wanted the people to be a bit embarrassed to like that smell. You know that sensation you have when you say into yourself "hummm, weird, but I quite like this smell even if I don't feel deeply comfortable with it." Personally it happens to me when I smell some mushrooms.
We played with several musks that reminds us of the old ones like the nitromusks (reinterpreted by Givaudan), and an amazing ambergris accord that Rodrigo made: salty, wet, milky mellow."
Visit Porter Sa Peau Photo & Perfume art exhibition at Gallery NeC (117 rue Vielle du Temple 75003 Paris) till the 21st of November, 2020. More information about the project can be found on the official website.
Porter sa peau L’Objet Parfumant by Roberto Greco & Rodrigo Flores-Roux will be available as limited edition of 500 numbered and signed pieces (175 euro per 50 ml extrait de parfum) through Jovoy and Auparfum in France, Studio Olfattivo and Parafarmacia Dr. Adbaya in Italy, and Luckyscent in the USA.
Top notes: Angelica Roots essence, Clary Sage essence, Hawthorn Flower accord, Aldehydes;
Heart notes: Narcisse Auvergne absolute (daffodil), Jasmine Absolute, Ylang Ylang Comores, Morocco Iris concrete, Bran absolute, Bulgarian Rose;
Base notes: Musk accord, Akigalawood, Patchouli Heart, Vetiver Heart, Hyraceum, Oak Moss, Leather accord, Sandalwood, Tolu balm.