By Andrea Pérez.
The thief called Terciopelo has a great sense of smell and is an expert at going unnoticed. Tonight it’s the turn of Corina’s house which “has the unmistakable whiff of a happy home". And the fact is that Terciopelo has a phenomenal nose, capable of detecting the oil from the paintings, the walnut oil from the furniture, the spices used to season dinner.
The intriguing and symbolic illustrations show all of the works of art in the house that seem to hide a secret; they all give the home an eerie yet cozy and familiar air, and they seem to have made a pact with the thief not to reveal his crime.
As the thief enters further into the house, we see how its inhabitants carry on with their lives, oblivious to the crime that is about to be committed. The illustrations follow the thief inside and show us increasingly self-referential details of the works of art that fill the house. In these details we can see the characters in the paintings “mirroring” the owners of the house. The tension and suspense increases little by little, like a sinuous dance, to the rhythm of the inhabitants of the house.
Set of mirrors
The set of mirrors we find in the illustrations leads us to the mystery, it foretells danger and encourages us to be alert: we’re sure that something is going to happen, although we don’t know what it will be. In each scene there is a large mirror that reflects a work of art, a character and even another mirror. As well as the mirrors, there are a number of hands pointing in different directions, talking to us, firmly but quietly pointing out places.
The thief’s exceptional sense of smell is capable of detecting and describing even the slightest scent left by the dust; this allows him to recognize the origins of the objects in the house and, through them, learn about the people who own them. Thanks to his sense of smell and sensitivity, something which makes him an unusual thief, the objects seem to come to life, tell us about their history, who has touched them, caressed them, painted them.
Terciopelo will advance gently to the end of the house, without knowing that someone is also watching him.
The smell of childhood
A book about the yearning for childhood; about something that disappears when we mention it, about those recollections buried in the memory that we build to protect ourselves and which we are unable to return to. Memories which, like our reflection in the mirror, exists as a virtual image of ourselves; this other us that we are often incapable of recognizing but which certainly lies within us, or what we were.
An unattainable yearning that can only be perceived through feelings, through subtle but strong smells; they can only be perceived with the anxiety produced by the insistence of those memories which, no matter how hard we try, we cannot name, define or capture.