Andy Warhol, ‘Perfume Bottles’ (Halston Campaign), 1979
“Another way to take up more space is with perfume. I really love wearing perfume.”
It’s funny to think about perfume as ‘taking up space,’ but it really does. Scent, of course, can infiltrate space faster than anything solid – the benefit of being gaseous – it can permeate and conquer.
Warhol always had a strong presence wherever he was, but did so without ever talking a whole lot. Being more of an observer, scent seems like the perfect way to make a silent – but resonant – impression.
I think if Warhol were alive now, he might incorporate scent into his art. He was always playing with the concept of space, like in the 1965 Edie Sedgwick film “Outer and Inner Space,” and with the silver Mylar balloon installations at The Factory. They can now be seen at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, though I actually experienced the idea at a Warhol exhibit in Stockholm a few years ago. A science-y friend of mine related the aimlessly ambient, floating balloons to molecules, which I think is a pretty spot-on analogy for the perfume-minded. As an installation, the cloud room is pretty unique as the room is totally devoid of boundaries. The balloons move with air currents and by people walking around – they don’t have any qualms about hitting you in the face or sticking to your sweater. Scent is like this in many ways.
“When I look at things, I always see the space they occupy. I always want the space to reappear, to make a comeback, because it’s lost space when there’s something in it.”