15 MINUTES WITH NIR HOD
by Tali Jaffe
The PK SHOP, an extension of the Paul Kasmin Gallery, is the destination for art objects, artist editions and what we’d be happy to call our art book library. One of the latest editions is Nir Hod’s I Want Always To Be Remembered in Your Heart, a pair of candles is an edition of 500. Inspired by his series of paintings of flowers engulfed in flames, the edition explores the paradoxical relationship between beauty and destruction. We talk to the artist about duality, what makes a scent masculine and finding the balance in it all.
Does duality often play a role in your work?
Absolutely yes. I like duality. I think it’s controversial if you make it interesting. Life is about paradox and duality. The problem is the middle that doesn’t offer much of anything. The most beautiful thing is when two different worlds are combined together so they can blend and create something new that delivers to other people and cultures a new paradox—a new duality to think about. If you are sensitive, duality exists almost everywhere. This is the beauty and problem of life.
Do you see it as balance or conflict?
Both. Sometimes it can be about balance and sometimes it can be conflict. When we spend too long in a balanced state of mind it starts to bother us. Yet when we don’t have balance we have the conflict within ourselves for balance so we are always in and out looking for something else on this point.
Was this the first time you worked with scent?
No. I had a show in the 90s in the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem and I used perfume that I bought in the Arab market in Jerusalem and I spread the scent on the canvas while it was drying so it smelled for months after (more than four liters dropped over a week). The whole canvas smelled like flowers for more than three months. I like the scent of smell on people and it was so interesting and beautiful that the canvas had its own smell; it created personality.
What was the discovery and experimentation process like?
I like experimentation and process in general; especially when working with candles and wax there is something so romantic. Its so interesting to translate artworks into 3 dimensional editions, its almost like a movie. Sometimes you feel painting is so limited and in a movie you have sound and movement and here you have something so visual and the scent of it, it’s a completely different experience…the whole search for the right smell that stays loyal to the original concept; it was a very long process to get the scents just right.
Today scents are so much better than the 70s and 80s and 90s you now think in details and value and really have to be very sensitive to smell. At some point everything smells good but you have to be more selective and sophisticated with what you want; the smell to the visual the visual to the smell. The whole process is very interesting and scents are so powerful; more than thinking and looking it’s about feeling something.
How does it compare to other media you’ve worked with?
In the end it’s part of what I’m doing in general; it’s another document in the archive of my art. It’s an evolution of what I’m doing. It completes my creativity and my vision.
Was the idea for this edition, I Want Always to Be Remembered in your Heart collaborative?
It was a collaboration with Pauk Kasmin Gallery’s PK SHOP and it’s a continuation of The Night You Left. When I came up with this title I thought about perfume and cult so with this candle and the coasters I want to create this kind of world… It’s very sensual, very beautiful and sad and seductive at the same time.
Which specific ingredients signify the masculine and feminine for you?
It all depends on the beauty of the person and the context. But more specifically flowers and the smell of fabrics represent for me, feminine. Wood and tobacco represent for me, more masculine. Sometimes it’s so sexy when you have the right combination of flower wood and alcohol in one scent. I believe that good perfume is for everybody.
What do you recommend someone who purchases this edition do with the vessels once the candles burn through?
I like the glasses as an object. They can function in any context but I like to keep it as a candleholder. Once its extinguished you can always find the right candle to put inside, again, that was the idea.
Do you have plans for your next editioned work?
Yes I am working right now on a few things; an iPhone case with what look like lines of cocaine, The Night You Left, that encourages people to change their iPhone case as they do their other accessories, and a really beautiful neon sign with beautiful thin amber color light with PK SHOP.
Click here to shop editions by Nir Hod.