Hedonistic Catalyst: Olfactory Memories


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many works of art that I find beautiful… and hate to admit it.
Take Patrick Caufield for example. I first saw his work in a magazine. I flipped the pages back to look at this particular painting again.


Patrick Caulfield. Sweet Bowl (1967)

Patrick Caulfield. Sweet Bowl (1967)

Heavy black outlines and flat colors, along with the stripped-down style seemed just too pop-art and sterile. But, at the same time, I swear I could smell candy in the bowl.
Pausing for a moment and checking if anyone else could hear my thoughts, I closed my eyes and saw a bowl of brightly colored Turkish delights. I can smell a cold winter morning mixed with the cloying scent of my least favorite dessert. Suddenly I find myself transported into that December morning of my birthday. There is nothing worse than missing your seventh birthday celebration because of yet another episode of pneumonia. The smell sends shivers down my spine.
That’s what I love about visual art – interaction with the viewers.
I can observe art from the perspective of technique and skill, but  I am also quite capable of passing judgment based on personal taste. Art that evokes strong feelings and drives out unexpected emotions is not a demonstration of faculty – but a catalyst. In my case, a catalyst for olfactory memories.
Can you smell paintings?

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