In his series of perfume still lifes, Warsaw-based Maciek Miloch turns lead into gold, celebrating the alchemy of surfaces, structures, and their inner glow. The set designs here were created by Natalia Mleczak, and are spectacular stages for a selection of perfumes inspired by materials such as copper, vinyl, and clay.
A brick can be made from clay, as can a sculpture by Picasso. A spoon can be carved from wood, as can a baroque Madonna. A shopping list can be penned on a blank sheet of paper, as can a million dollar work of art. Material, that neutral matter ready for the craftsman to breath her vision into. But our ancestors may have seen it differently.
For generations of shamans, alchemists, and humans alike, each stone, each piece of wood — all objects were animated by a unique spirit, possessed with individual characteristics. Matter was alive just as plants or any other creature of God. In the twentieth century, artists like Joseph Beuys saw grease, honey, and copper as embodying powerful properties, accumulators of energy and memories.
Enjoy these painterly color palettes, radiant lighting, and the inspiration to walk through this world knowing you are surrounded by kind spirits and benevolent matter!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Maciek Miloch
SET DESIGN: Natalia Mleczak
The alchemy of matter.
Celebrating the secret life of things!
01. Amouage: Imitation
I use all sorts of things to work with: old brooms, old sweaters, and all kinds of peculiar tools and materials… I paint to excite myself, and make something for myself.
PERFUMER: Leslie Girard
02. Room 1015: Ten Fifteen
Art happens when anyone in the world takes any kind of material and fashions it into a deliberate statement.
PERFUMER: Jérome Epinette
03. Comme Des Garçons: Copper
Every master knows that the material teaches the artist.
PERFUMER: Alienor Massenet
04. Oliver & Co.: Nebula 3
The realist sees reality as concrete. The optimist sees reality as clay.
PERFUMER: Oliver Valverde
05. Histoires De Parfums: Petroleum
Paint with whatever material you please – with pipes, postage stamps, postcards or playing cards, painted paper, or newspapers.
PERFUMER: Gerald Ghislain
06. Extrait D’Atélier: Maitre Céramiste
I thought clay must be happy in the good potter’s hand.
PERFUMERS: Maurizio Cerizza, Luca Maffei
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