Artwork Detail

Brazilian, b. 1957
Cast beeswax with oil perfume
11 x 48 x 2 "
Gift of Peter Norton, 2015
From each end of a long, flesh-colored wax slab protrudes a highly naturalistic mouth, held slightly ajar to reveal a tongue and teeth. Perfumed oil flows back and forth along the slab from one mouth to the other, suggesting a passionate interchange between two people. Valeska Soares describes the perfume as “a substance that crosses that border between being pleasurable and being overintoxicating.” By generating a visceral experience based on smell, this evocative installation, like much of the artist’s work, transcends traditional sculpture to create an encounter that is both inviting and disturbing. Soares joins a lineage of artists from her home country of Brazil, including Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, who began creating multisensory and participatory installations in the 1960s. [Permanent collection label, 2016]