INTERVIEW: Mike Ballou
On Monday, October 26 a giant cow head appeared atop Diner, a restaurant at the intersection of Broadway and Berry in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Moo-Moo the Giant Cow Head is a large sculptural portrait by artist Mike Ballou of one of the grass-fed upstate New York cows that are used in Diner’s dishes. I met up with Mike and German artist Hans Winkler (see ZING #15) at Diner to discuss this absurdity.
Brandon Johnson: We’ll just talk about that big cow head on top of Diner and see where it take us. So, why’s it there?
Mike Ballou: I became interested in Diner as a social venue. A lot of it was function and I wanted to do something that played with their sensibility. So, I went to the farm where they get some of their livestock and took pictures.
B: Did you know the guy who owns Diner?
M: Yeah, actually, I met Andrew [Tarlow] 8 years ago? It was this hysterical trip to Stockholm and we had this insane layover. I mean we were laid over for 14 hours and I had been traveling so much that year that I said “I’m not staying inside this fuckin’ airport. Anybody wanna come with me? I’m going outside.” It was May or early June in Stockholm, so it was light forever. Andrew and I ended up in the middle of this traffic median and there was this grassy patch with dandelions and we ended up making flower leis for one another. I kept talking in this pirate voice, saying, “Argg, you’ve been ruining the neighborhood, turning all yuppyfied, haven’t ya? Serving all your fancy food with pretty girls. Think you’re fancy do ya?”
Found at zing chat