The crowd outside gallery Envoy Enterprises is here to smell a woman. For “Smell Me,” mixed-media and performance artist Artist Martynka Wawrzyniak has collected aromas from her body and placed them in a scent chamber, where one by one on this opening night, visitors immerse themselves in her aroma.
Video cameras watch while I wait in a long, cheerful line of people, around a white box of a room in the middle of the gallery. Cream curtains cover the only entrance, like we’re waiting for an audience with a perfumed Wizard of Oz.
Martynka’s smell portrait is essence of her sweat, tears, hair and night shirt and it has a scent almost scentless, while at the same time faintly like unwashed hands, dirt, lilacs, paint, nectarines and fashion.