Peter De Cupere

Peter De Cupere is known as a visual artist who works with smells. De Cupere paints with smells, creates scent objects, soap paintings and sculptures, realises live or video ‘perfumances’, makes scent concept drawings and builds poetic olfactory installations. Through the use of the subjective, associative impact of scents in combination with visual images, Peter de Cupere creates a kind of meta-sensory experience that goes beyond mere vision or smell. The combination of scents with the visual aspect of the art work creates a mix that does not always prove to be predictable. On the one hand, the artist questions nature and the way we treat nature in general, but also more in particular concerning environmental problems. On the other hand, his work is about ‘people’ and the way people generally communicate through smells, consciously or unconsciously. Peter de Cupere starts from the suppressed history of smells which, in our culture, still lead a virtually ‘underground’ existence compared with the culturally celebrated sensory experiences such as seeing and hearing. Through his work with smells, he creates a statement with a certain context in a central position. At PXL, the artist studies how scents can be context and/or concept of the work; how scents create meaning, how smells may be used in art and how a work of art with smell is experienced by the audience. When Scent makes Seeing, when Seeing makes Scents. In this research, he uses his own works and studies, among others, exhibitions. In 2013-2014, for example, he realised the exhibition ‘The Art of Smelling, Olfactory Art Research’ in Enschede, and 33 exhibitions with ‘The Olfactory’, a mobile container converted into an exhibition location that allows a focus on olfactory projects.