Monday, September 04, 2000

Pig Parade: Mr. Chops


Pig directs traffic with pop, panache

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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        This is 128th in a series spotlighting pigs from the Big Pig Gig Public Art Project taking place in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Find past pig profiles and even details at Cincinnati.com/bigpiggig

        Dressed as the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, Mr. Chops conducts traffic on Fourth Street.

        Artist: Don Hoffmann, 40, Mount Washington. Mr. Hoffmann is a graphic artist and a stay-at-home dad.

        Sponsor: Firstar Bank for Friends of the Cincinnati Pops.

        This pig's pen: Fourth and Walnut streets.

        You were inspired by: I've designed T-shirts for the Cincinnati Pops using their Mr. Pops character, who is dressed like the conductor of the orchestra. The Friends wanted me to turn Mr. Pops into a pig, so he's Mr. Chops.

        What's the pig idea? He's wearing a maroon tail coat and gray trousers with black stripes, the same colors worn by the Pops musicians.

        Completing the project took: With a 5-year-old and a 2 1/2-year-old to look after, I could only work on the pig after they were in bed, so there were a lot of late nights, adding up to about 90 hours.

        What's the matter?: Sign painter's enamels.

        Your high on the hog was: I liked working on three-dimensional sculpture. I've never done that before.

        Pig peeve: Maroon paint. It was a color that the local dealer didn't have, so I had to order it from New York. A $15 can of paint wound up costing $50. I had to put on seven or eight coats. It wouldn't go on smoothly and it wouldn't dry.

        Best pig tale: My 5-year-old, Noah, was telling everybody about daddy's pig, even if they didn't want to hear it. And since my pig is wearing a big, black bow tie, he started putting black bow ties on all the characters he was drawing.

        My favorite pork dish: Pigs are too intelligent to eat.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? It's not art.

        If your pig starred in a movie, who would you cast to play the role? I think of Richard Dreyfuss in Mr. Holland's Opus.

       



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