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Art, Not Magic, Brings SFMOMA Snowman To Life

Frosty, disrupted. 

The listener who listens in the snow.


At SFMOMA, making a snowman is as simple as plugging one in—if you’re Peter Fischli and David Weiss that is. The Swiss duo’s life-sized frosty sculpture, Snowman, will stay alive in a refrigerator designed and built by the artists. Snowman will be on display starting Dec. 2 and stick around until March. Take that, Frosty!

As for how Fischli and Weiss actually created Snowman, there was no magic old silk hat involved.

Said Fischli, “Inside of this snowman, there is a skinny snowman. It has a cooling system like you have in your fridge with cooling liquid. The skinny snowman is made out of copper and then humidity is added. So it starts to build up the snow.”

One of the coolest (get it?) things about Snowman is that its appearance changes every time you see it. Fischli said, “Maybe if you come in two days its smile will be a little different. Its eyes will be smaller.”

SFMOMA caretakers make sure there aren’t any huge changes, though. If Snowman starts growing a snow-zit or honker of a snow-nose, they’ll gently scrape the excess ice away. Before Snowman made its West Coast debut, it spent the summer suntanning on the roof of the Art Institute of Chicago, meaning Snowman made it out just in time before the winter cold.


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