Josely Carvalho

Contemporary scent artist


Portrait of Josely Carvalho - Photo by Philippe Vermés.

Josely Carvalho is a multidisciplinary artist and poet. She was born in São Paulo, lives in New York since late 1970’s and maintains a studio in Rio de Janeiro since 2002. In the last four decades, her work embraces several media and seeks to highlight memory, identity and social justice while consistently challenges the frontiers between artist and public and art and politics.

Her present project Diary of Smells, is an on-going cross- disciplinary sensorial project. The olfactory, a forgotten sense and yet a powerful connector to memory and emotions acts as a protagonist among other typically dominant components in contemporary art. The inclusion of the olfactory – one’s first and last experienced sense - results from her long examination of society`s basic need to be sheltered in a moment in which the sense of home/nest is threatened by wars, refugee camps, migrations and the fragility of the environment - the collective shelter.

In 2019, she received the International Art and Olfaction Sadakichi Award in experimental olfactory artwork category for her installation Glass Ceiling: Resilience presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in São Paulo in 2018.

She talks about the Smell of Death in our 38th Odorama lecture: Parfums Funèbres.

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  • Josely Carvalho