Friday, June 24, 2011

Farmer Jones' Pigs

I have been on the road, and while at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass. I was able to examine and play with this lovely board game from the last third of the nineteenth century. It is called Farmer Jones' Pigs and was produced by McLoughlin Bros.

The goal of the game is to move all three of your pigs from the barn to the cornfield, avoiding the farmer and his dogs (which can send you back to the pen) and not getting too delayed at the pond or garden. You spin this lovely spinner to advance the pigs:

Here are some of the delightful pig tokens on the board:

I was fortunate enough to be able to play a while with Tracy, one of the staff at the AAS. The game has held up pretty well, although it seemed to have one major glitch: if you spun a "two" on the very first spin you would advance all the way to the end via a seemingly endless series of "go to" spaces. Once finished, one simply needed to spin another "two" to get that pig into the cornfield.

Overall, though, I found the game delightful and was left wishing I had seen it on an earlier visit to Worcester so that I could have included an illustration of it in PIG. Perhaps I'll be able to use it in my next pig project...

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Li Songsong, Pig Years at Pace Gallery, New York

LI SONGSONG, Pig Years, 2010, oil on aluminum panel, 380 × 520 cm. Courtesy the Pace Gallery, New York.

My friend Lisa was just at the Pace Gallery in New York City, where there is an exhibit of the recent work of Beijing-born artist Li Songsong. This painting, Pig Years, is perhaps best described in Irina Makarova's review (here) of the show for ArtAsiaPacific. She writes:
Pig Years (2010), at 12 feet in height, is a gargantuan, multi-hued painting made of four separate panels—with each panel consisting of overlapping layers of smaller panels—attached together by aluminum plates. The panels, with their overlapping layout and sea of clashing colors (varying shades of gray, yellow and blue), appear as though they would not come together as one image. But upon stepping back from the painting, the content emerges: a massive pile of pigs that are heaped together like a mountain of rocks.

Li manages to capture the feeling of trying to recall a memory, which, with the passing of time, is reconfigured or blurred, and becomes an amalgamation of associated senses, patches of other memories and shadows of the original. Just as our perception of people, places and ideas are based on sensory experiences, which are overlaid and bound together to form memories, so are Li’s paintings, in which multiple panels, grids, layers and colors come together as one integrated image.

If you happen to be able to make it to New York City, it sure sounds like this is worth seeing in person, as this reproduction can't possibly convey a sense of the size and detail of Li's work.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wild Pigs in San Diego County

The L.A. Times had an article a few days ago (here) about the growing problem posed by wild pigs in San Diego County, California and the joint efforts of the Forest Service and two Native American tribes, the Barona band of Mission Indians and the Viejas band of Kumeyaay Indians, to do something about the problem. The article notes that it is unclear where these wild-living pigs (a term I came to prefer from reading the literature on this issue globally in working on Pig) came from but that proposed efforts to eradicate them have proven quite controversial. We might just be headed for a reprise of the debate over the mass extermination of wild-living pigs on Santa Cruz Island, a subject I discuss at length in Pig. The above image comes from the L.A. Times article, credited to the California Department of Fish and Game.

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