Pigs Will Fly! Anti-Trump Art Project Inspired by Pink Floyd Gets Frontman’s Blessing

The installation is inspired by the band's seminal "Animals" LP—and Roger Waters approves.

New World Design, Flying Pigs on Parade: a Chicago River Folly (2016), rendering. Courtesy New World Design.
New World Design, Flying Pigs on Parade: a Chicago River Folly (2016), rendering. Courtesy New World Design.

Who says pigs can’t fly? A proposed one-day art project that would block the view of the gold lettered sign on Chicago’s Trump Tower with a row of flying pigs is one step closer to becoming a reality. The piece, the brainchild of architect Jeffrey Roberts, principal of New World Design, is inspired by the inflatable pigs used by Pink Floyd, and band co-founder Roger Waters has officially given his blessing.

If all goes according to plan, the piece, titled Flying Pigs on Parade, will be staged in front of Trump Tower in Chicago this summer. It will feature four 30-by-15-foot pigs, tethered to a barge in the Chicago River, and Roberts hopes to stage the work in other cities around the country.

Waters designed Pink Floyd’s first flying pig, a 40-foot-tall inflatable at the Battersea Power Station for the 1977 album Animals. Roberts unveiled his idea for a Trump-themed version of the piece in November, following the election.

New World Design, Flying Pigs on Parade: a Chicago River Folly (2016). Courtesy New World Design.

New World Design, Flying Pigs on Parade: a Chicago River Folly (2016). Courtesy New World Design.

“One hundred years ago the Russian Revolution launched a series of events that would drastically alter the world. George Orwell used these events as the basis for his 1946 novella Animal Farm,” wrote Roberts on the project website. “Pink Floyd rendered their musical interpretation of the allegory into the concept album Animals in response to social-political conditions in late-70’s Britain. Like Orwell’s book, the interpretive messages of Animals have unfortunately become highly relevant again.”

Prior to entering politics, Trump was known for stamping his name on his many real estate properties, typically in gaudy gold letters. Following Trump’s unexpected ascendancy to our nation’s highest office, these Trump-branded buildings have taken on a new significance for many residents.

New World Design, Flying Pigs on Parade: a Chicago River Folly (2016). Courtesy New World Design.

New World Design, Flying Pigs on Parade: a Chicago River Folly (2016). Courtesy New World Design.

By obscuring the view of Trump’s name, Roberts will be taking aim at the president’s vanity, while the balloons’ gilded color pokes fun at his taste for ostentatious golden interiors.

Although securing the rights to the pig imagery, which passed to Waters after he left the band in 1985, was the first step in bringing Flying Pigs on Parade to life, Roberts still has several roadblocks to overcome. The project will need city approval, and he’ll be launching a fundraising campaign to pay for it.


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