Snake Ear Cuff, designed in 1936, executed in 2014
18kt gold with tsavorites ear cuff
7.8 x 4.4 x 1.2 cm
edition of 88
signed and numbered
Gems and Ladders edition
A small snake embraces the wearer’s ear, not as a passive adornment but as an active creature that looks back at the viewer with glinting green eyes.
Meret Oppenheim passionately attended the annual carnival in Basel; she collected traditional masks and created her own costumes. Her works, costumes or adornments offer disguise and permit playfulness; in fact, with these wearable sculptures, the wearer might take on the properties of what they are carrying.
In the case of Oppenheim’s Snake Ear Cuff the person wearing this wearable art piece may take on the sinuousness and stealth of the reptile. The wearable art pieces by Meret Oppheneim are representative of her personality: between humour and elegance, they explore female sexuality, identity and exploitation. The snake’s narrow tail wraps around the ear, as can be seen in the illustration of 1936, a gesture that is protective yet a little menacing.