Saturday, August 26, 2000

Pig Parade: Only In America

This pig flies like an eagle

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is 119th 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

        The sponsor's logo is an eagle, but because this isn't the Big Eagle Gig, they had to disguise a pig.

[photo] | ZOOM |
        Artist: Jim Effler, 44, Wyoming. Mr. Effler is an illustrator who has created posters of the Bock Fest, Oktoberfest, A Day in Eden, Summerfair and the Festival of Lights. He also illustrates children's books for Scholastic Press.

        Sponsor: Carl H. Lindner for Great American Insurance Co.

        This pig's pen: 580 Building, Sixth and Walnut streets.

        You were inspired by: It was my client's idea. Since their logo has an eagle, they wanted me to do a pig in an eagle costume.

        What's the pig idea? We decided to make it an obvious costume to avoid a pig/eagle hybrid. The straps on the beak and wings define it as a costume.

        You want people to look at this pig and think: The pig has a banner on it that says “Only in America.” I want people to think: Does that mean that only in America can the lowly hog become a majestic eagle? Or think that he is? Or maybe only in America would you find something as silly as the whole Big Pig Gig.

        Completing the project took: About four weeks.

        What's the matter? The beak is polyurethane foam from a can, covered with fiberglass. For the banner I started with gutter screen and covered that with layers of fiberglass. The paint is acrylic, coated with clear acrylic varnish.

        Your high on the hog was: After two weeks of minimal progress preparing the fiberglass, I got help from Ted Kosse, who had it ready to paint in five days. Painting the pig accounted for only about 20% of the total time spent.

        Pig peeve: Working with fiberglass.

        Best pig tale: It looked like the pig was soaped up for a shave while I sculpted the beak.

        My favorite pork dish: Barbecued spare ribs.

        The materials cost: $350.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? It's the one disguised as the other.

        If your pig starred in a movie, who would you cast to play the role? Buddy Hackett wearing a John Wayne mask.


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- Pig Parade: Only In America
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