Five questions to Maurice Joosten

Five questions to Maurice Joosten

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Maurice (born 1962 in Haarlem, Netherlands) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam and completed a research fellowship/artist residency at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. Over a period of almost 3 decades he has realised a number of public and semi-public art projects in various locations around the world. Since 2006 he has been exploring the connection and synergy between the visual and olfactory design of a space.How did you get into art?

My journey into the world of art was gradual. As a teenager, I yearned to create, though art wasn't part of my daily life. Enrolling in an art academy was transformative; it revealed art as a deeply intimate and personal adventure. What ultimately led me to choose art over architecture or design was the unparalleled sense of personal freedom and expression it offered. Here, you are both the creator and the ultimate reference point, a dynamic that resonated profoundly with me. 



How would you describe your style? What makes your art special? 

I’m a visual artist and olfactory designer, my work integrates the ephemeral and volatile world of scent into the more firm and solid world of 3 dimensional sculpture. I create pieces from small to large scale, and compose original bespoke natural fragrances for use in (semi-) public spaces. Embracing the role of a modern-day alchemist, I harmonise the senses of sight and smell, striving to dissolve the perceived barriers between the material and immaterial worlds, forging an intimate connection between them. My sculptures exude fluidity, evoking dance, music, and transformative energy. They harmonise stability with volatility, merging visual and olfactory experiences into one. How do you go about developing your work?

My creative process typically commences with a series of sketches, paper cutouts, and collages that evolve through an organic process of improvisation. These initial concepts are then meticulously honed and enhanced digitally. Subsequently, I bring them to life in small-scale 3D models, crafted from paper or clay, carefully sculpted around a wire frame. The journey culminates in the finalisation of the piece, realised in either metal or resin. I often find myself working concurrently on multiple artworks, honing each over time. This iterative process is rooted in a philosophy of reduction, a continuous cycle of refinement and the deliberate removal of the extraneous, culminating in the distillation of the piece to its simplest and most essential form. 

Who or what influences you? 

My inspiration draws from a diverse array of sources, spanning biomorphic architecture and fluid design to the ethereal realms of music, dance, and fragrance. Ultimately, they serve as mirrors to inner exploration and a personal odyssey. At the moment of creation, these myriad influences converge, giving rise to a spontaneous manifestation and fostered by a lifelong pursuit of beauty. 

What are you planning to do next?

I am currently in the process of developing a new collection of olfactory sculptures, where I aim to further enhance the harmonious interplay between tactile forms and my fragrant creations. Simultaneously, I am dedicated to designing a series of delicate hanging mobile sculptures that exude an ethereal lightness, allowing them to gracefully dance in response to the subtlest breeze. Furthermore, I'm envisioning the creation of a limited edition of diffusers, meticulously crafted to curate a contemporary aromatic experience.