Thursday, September 14, 2000

Pig Parade: Pig-Tac-Toe

Game of Xs and Os tests swines' smarts

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is 138th 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

        “Pigs are intelligent animals,” says artist Jonathan Hand, whose pigs are playing tic-tac-toe, “but they're still pigs. They wallow in mud.”

        Mr. Hand, 25, of Over-the-Rhine is a painter and member of the Red Top Studio in the old Red Top Brewing Co. building on McMicken Street. He also created “Stainless Squeal.”

        Sponsor: Folgers Coffee Co.

[photo] | ZOOM |
        This pig's pen: Fountain Square.

        You were inspired by: We couldn't find any way to connect coffee with pigs, so we went in an entirely different direction.

        What's the pig idea? Folgers' idea people from Chicago wanted to show how intelligent pigs are.

        What's the matter? I wanted the two pigs looking each other in the eye, like the game was really serious, so I had to cut the head off the main pig and reposition it. The other pig was a test head at the Glass Hand. It was only half a head, so I had to sculpt the rest of it. I used expandable foam, epoxy resin and a lot of duct tape.

        Your high on the hog was: Some of the wood pieces are getting broken off the pigs, but people are fixing it on their own, putting things back where they go. Even when I'm repairing it, people want to make sure I'm the artist before they'll let me touch it.

        Pig peeve: The fiberglass dust is everywhere.

        Best pig tale: I have an old couch in the studio that I'm tired of, so when I had to find foam filler to fill the mud puddle, I used a cushion and a pillow from the couch. If you look closely you can make out their shapes.

        My favorite pork dish: Good pork fried rice.

        What artistic movement most affected the outcome of this pig? Chuck Jones animated cartoons.

        The materials cost: $750.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? If it's pleasing to the eye, it's art.

        If your pig starred in a movie, who would you cast to play the role? Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer.


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- Pig Parade: Pig-Tac-Toe
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