Last winter, Andreas Keller decided the time was right to branch out from his day job as a neuroscientist and launch a new art gallery. Not just any gallery, but the country’s first and only commercial space devoted entirely to smell-based art, says an article published in Smithsonian Magazine.
He rented a defunct barbershop in New York City’s Chinatown and teamed up with an artist named M Dougherty for his inaugural show in February of 2021, drilling a hole in the exterior wall to pipe a piney perfume called “Forest Bath” to the street outside. The fresh evergreen mingled with steamed dumplings and ripe dumpsters and the smoldering papers that Keller’s Chinese neighbors sometimes burned as an offering to their ancestors.
“The gallery had always been a fantasy, but the pandemic brought it into focus,” says Keller, sitting in his AstroTurf-carpeted back office (which he soon plans to sprinkle with a molecule that smells like fresh-cut grass). Not only did lockdown allow contemplative hours away from his work, but one of early Covid-19’s telltale symptoms gave him the hunch that there might, at long last, be a market for his dream.
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Source: Smithsonian Magazine