Sunday, June 25, 2000

PIG GIG: Whirligig pig sets off for esoteric flight

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is 57th in a series spotlighting pigs from the Big Pig Gig Public Art Project taking place in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Find past pig profiles at

[photo] | ZOOM |
        Artist: Stephen Geddes, 51, Mount Washington. Mr. Geddes, a sculptor and commercial toy sculptor, is also doing “Hammible Crossing the Rhine” for the Classical Music Hall of Fame.

        Sponsor: Delta Air Lines for Neediest Kids of All.

        This pig's pen: Fountain Square.

        You were inspired by: There is this drawing in one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks of this flying machine with a spiraling contraption attached to a wooden tripod with some poor sap cranking like crazy to get off the ground. I imagined it as a futile attempt to get a pig to fly.

        You want people to look at this pig and think: I don't care what they think, as long as they think. The hardest thing in art is getting people to stop and look. Art may be entertaining, but there should be more to art than just entertainment.

        Completing the project took: About four weeks.

        This pig is adorned with: Sheet aluminum, wood, twine and acrylic paint.

        Your high on the hog was: It's a kind of esoteric concept, so I'm just pleased that people are enjoying it. It's kind of gratifying that people are pleased to see that the whirligig does turn in the wind.

        Pig peeve: All the scrap aluminum I've got left over. Engineering is not my strong suit, so I went through a lot of metal before I got blades that would spin in the wind.

        Best pig tale: The pig had only been on Fountain Square for a few days when somebody took off the whirligig and tried to use it as a Frisbee. They threw it in the street where it was flattened by a car. I rebuilt it with steel reinforcements. Now it's more secure, but it still turns.

        My favorite pork dish: My wife makes a terrific pork roast.

        The materials cost: About $300.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? It's a kind of folk art, something that might be made for a celebration, a Mardi Gras for pigs.


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- PIG GIG: Whirligig pig sets off for esoteric flight