EPAC is pleased to unveil the newest addition to our permanent collection, Ed Paschke’s Vaca Victoria, thanks to a generous gift made by Averill and Bernard Leviton.
Chicago was the first American city to host “Cows on Parade,” from June to October 1999. Over 300 cow sculptures embellished by local artists went on public display throughout the city, but Ed Paschke’s Vaca Victoria was the only one withdrawn from public view.
It stood at 215 W. Superior in River North for just three short days before the gang signs Paschke covered it with caused a local controversy.
Less controversial were the other elements of his composition. He painted the head in the style of the Chicago Bulls logo and blanketed the body with shapes and symbols already familiar to his work, such as Spades and Clubs, lucky clover, stars and American tattoo flash. His finishing touch was signing his name over the cow’s haunches, similar to a cattle brand.
“Cows on Parade” was one of the largest temporary public art projects Chicago has ever mounted. In part due to its success here, it has become an ongoing, international phenomenon that has spread to more than fifty countries around the world.