Untitled Snake Oil

Untitled Snake Oil

  • Artist

    Hany Armanious

  • Production Date


  • Medium

    hotmelt, glass

  • Credit

    Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2003

  • Accession Number


  • Accession Date

    22 Oct 2003

  • Department

    International Art

  • Classification


  • Collection


  • Description

    Traditionally casting has been used to reproduce sculptures, but today sculptors are addressing the process in its own right. Hany Armanious has made a series of works using Hot Melt, a miraculous and versatile casting vinyl. He calls it "snake oil", suggesting an elixir, a wild-west cure-all (perhaps a fix for all his sculpting problems). This nickname also suggests a hoax, something bogus. Sometimes Armanious pours Hot Melt into space, forming inchoate blobs and folds that betray the material's qualities: its viscosity, the speed at which it sets. However, here he pours it into glasses, casting the space that a drink - a magic potion - would take. He turns out the solidified volumes like jellies or cupcakes, perching them atop the inverted glasses as dainty plinths. They become a family of curious comic characters: some blunt, some pointy; some graceful, some squat. Recalling the metallurgists, alchemists and charlatans of old, Armanious' piece invokes the - possibly miraculous, possibly bogus - power of art. (Snake Oil, 2005)

Exhibition history