Scent Artist Chaveli Sifre Creates Organic Masks That Smell Divine
Chaveli Sifre was born in Germany to Puerto Rican parents. After starting a program extolling the regenerative power of nightlife, she co-founded Scent Club Berlin, a community devoted to olfaction as a creative medium. In addition to being a mixed-media artist and curating a Caribbean olfactory archive, Chaveli sings and writes for a pop band and runs an online magazine devoted to art, film, and magic.
Chaveli’s forays into alternative media treat sensory experiences as a “political, cultural, and personal arena.” Her organic masks incorporate beeswax and other natural ingredients that facilitate muscle relaxation, such as peppermint, jojoba, arnica, and magnesium. By fostering a sense of kinship and hyperawareness, she highlights emotion and knowledge as intertwined, providing a stimulating experience for the viewer using scent as a type of painting.
Despite her experience as an artist and curator in Berlin and Puerto Rico, Chaveli finds it difficult to obtain residencies or gallery representation because of her unique approach. She feels marginalized working with scent and creating ephemeral works that resist commodification. Despite the obstacles she faces, Chaveli vows to dedicate her life to “making art against all odds.”
“Through my installations, performative rituals, objects, and paintings, I seek to incorporate spirituality, care, and healing in art.” — Chaveli Sifre
Scroll down to see a selection of Chaveli’s avant-garde work.
All artworks have been published with permission of the artist. Our "Artist of the Day" series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100's of grant applications we receive. The "Not Real Art Grant" is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists, and this is one way we honor all entries we receive. Find out more about the grant program here.