Pigs of Author: The Secret Charm of the Little Pigs of Pomaire

Clay Pigs by Alex Chellew and Sebastian Clover

“This project seeks, on the one hand, the re-signification and revaluation of those traditonal Piggy artifacts made of Greda (Clay) from the town of Pomaire, mainly because it represents an object belonging to both a living folk tradition and to the identity of the people living in the central/southern area of Chile. On the other hand, I consider that, as a visual form in the field of the arts, “Chanchos de autor” offers a different and innovative medium, much closer to the public, which helps to bring different social and cultural segments closer to art”,

says Daniela Greve, organizer of the project and founder of the Por Chanchos de Greve platform.

  • Pigs of author is a project that brings together more than 100 piggy banks of clay painted mostly by a curated group of both chilean and international artists that will be on display to the public from this May 2 at the CEINA (Extension Center of the National Institute).
  • Curated and produced by Daniela Greve, Chanchos de Autor is a traveling exhibition that has been already displayed in different art spaces in Santiago and is preparing to be exhibited in other Chilean cities museums.
  • Different techniques, stories and stylistic approaches converge in a project that evaluation and circulation of a significant object within our identity and popular/cultural history.

In Chilean popular culture, the ‘Clay Pig’ occupies a particular place, both in terms of decoration and in the appreciation of the work of popular pottery that began to develop in different areas of the center / south of Chile, even before than the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.

Clay Pig by Gonzalo Cienfuegos

From the pig from Quinchamalí (Ñuble Region) to the one made in the Quebrada de las Ulloa (Bío Bío); From the Pig of Pomaire (Metropolitan Region) to the Pig of Pilen or the figure of Vichuquén (Maule), in each area different artisans have been making pigs with very particular features and attributions, that range from the functional (decoration/savings) to the magical/pagan (good fortune/make a wish). No pig is the same as the other, the story states that, to maintain their magical attributions, each one must have a character. Throughout this vast area of pottery production, different stories and mythologies have been generated around this figure, which today has also become the livelihood of local micro-economies.

A few years ago, Daniela Greve, a political scientist, cultural manager and art collector, began to acquire the classic clay pigs (which, depending on their region of origin, have particular characteristics, tones, materials and functions). Almost like a natural instinct during the quarantine process that the pandemic brought, Greve and her daughter began to intervene and decorate them, giving them an even more unique character.

In the midst of the pandemic, Daniela began to travel to Pomaire, to learn about the manufacturing process of the piglets and to begin, together with local potters, the production of more than 200 figures. The contingency of confinement and the affection that the figure inspires in each one, resulted in a collection of unique works made by artists from different disciplines and styles.

Clay Pigs by Victor Castillo, Jose Carcavilla, Icha Vizcarra & Pablo Inda

In the year 2021 Daniela Greve founded Chanchos de Greve, a project whose concept seeks to connect the cultural and identity attributions of the pig of clay in our cultural heritage by inviting different visual artists to capture their gaze and connection with the object.

Canchos de Autor’ is an eclectic and energetic collection of clay piggy banks made by Chilean potters where artisan work intersects with an also eclectic and wide selection of visions and techniques and more than one reflection on our current situation.

After a successful first version, at the Ralli Museum in Santiago, ‘Canchos de Autor’ is currently presented at the Exhibition Hall of the Cultural Corporation of Las Condes, located in the Pueblito de los Dominicos and this Monday, May 2, it will be will open at the CEINA (Extension Center of the National Institute).

The creators summoned include Víctor Castillo, Vivian Werbin, Vicente Irarrázaval, Leonardo Portus, Gonzalo Cienfuegos, Rodrigo Cociña, Carmen Piemonte, Javier Aliste, Marcia Bravo, Leonardo Casas, Carmen Valbuena, Cristián Elizalde, Sol Guillón, among others.

Clay Pig

“This exhibition (at CEINA) is very important to us, since it is a space where many students come, especially from the National Institute, and it is they, the young people and children, who enjoy the exhibition the most, because of the colors, the concepts and the forms; In addition, this exhibition generates interest in art and a desire to learn from it in some”,

concludes Daniela Greve, who is already preparing the exhibition to be exhibited in the city of Melipilla, where the same artisans and the general public of the city of Pomaire will be able to appreciate the project in its aesthetic dimension.


@porchanchosdegreve en Instagram

Catálogo completo on-line www.chanchosdeautor.cl

carpeta con imágenes disponible en email: chanchosdegreve@gmail.com

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