Friday, August 18, 2000

Pig Parade: Porkopolis

Architects create a city sty-line

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is 111th 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 Click on the Big Pig Gig icon.

[photo] | ZOOM |
        Building a city on a pig's back is a perfectly piggy idea for an architecture firm, but this city is in need of urban renewal. The little buildings have been coming unglued and falling to the ground, so at the moment, Porkopolis is in the Hogspital.

        Artists: Kyle Christoph, Matt Murtha and other employees at Steed Hammond Paul, architects.

        Sponsor: Steed, Hammond, Paul Inc.

        This pig's pen: Court Street Island, in front of the Kroger Building.

        You were inspired by: Kyle's original vision was to do a city like Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Fritz Lang's Metropolis. When we finished it was more like Grandma Moses had become an architect.

        What's the pig idea? It's a reflection on what we see every day out of our office windows in the Kroger Building. Cincinnati was built on the back of a hog market, so we thought it made sense.

        You want people to look at this pig and think: We want people to enjoy recognizing the downtown buildings, but please don't try to use it as a map. You'll get lost. And please, don't pull the buildings off the pig.

        Completing the project took: The whole office worked on it at lunch time, evenings and weekends for two months.

        What's the matter?: The buildings are poplar wood, acrylic and enamel paints.

        Your high on the hog was: Seeing all the different styles in the office come through in the way the different buildings were painted. Like the city itself, each building is unique. Kyle's fountain is a nice touch.

        Pig peeve: The odor from the epoxies stayed with us for days and gave Kyle a headache for a week.

        Favorite pork dish: Kyle likes the butterfly pork chop sandwich at the Wisconsin State Fair. Matt prefers a bratwurst sandwich from Cleveland's West Side Market.

        What artistic movement most affected the outcome of this pig? Architects often get labeled as elitists, but this is a pig for the people.

        What do you call this pig: Porky.

        The materials cost: $400.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? Since we don't know what porkography is and the pig isn't naked or the least bit titillating, we'll go with art.

        If your pig starred in a movie, who would you cast to play the role? Ned Beatty, of course.


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