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Artist Erects a Condom Pyramid

By Lisa Angotti     Mar 30, 2007 in Entertainment
Pyramid made out of condom boxes is getting a cool reception in San Francisco.
Jay Critchley really knows how to get his point across.
The artist has erected a 3-foot model of San Francisco's iconic Transamerica Pyramid building, made entirely of condom boxes. The boxes bear the logo of his company Old Glory Condom Corp., with the words "Worn With Pride Country Wide.". It may be a marketing ploy, and its working.
The finished piece is being unveiled at the Corporate Art Expo '07 in San Francisco in the Mission District.
"The Transamerica building is the essential San Francisco identifier,"
Critchley said. "It was that or the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Coit Tower. ... But neither had the corporate link like the Transamerica."
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but Transamerica Insurance and Investment Group thinks otherwise. The company has offices inside the pyramid building.
"Transamerica Corporation is not a sponsor of the exhibit, nor does it endorse the products or services of Old Glory Condom Corp. or any other vendor participating in the exhibit,
" read a statement released by a spokesperson. "Permission to use the Transamerica logo was never sought by or granted to Old Glory."
Critchley says he just wanted to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS.
"They have to protect their logo," he said. "I would hope that Transamerica is pleased to know that their image is being associated with global corporate responsibility, in line with their stated core values of respect, quality, transparency and trust."
"If he's promoting his company while diminishing Transamerica's logo, that taints things quite a bit," one lawyer said of the situation.
"I think he's really good at using a sense of humor to get his message of social activism across," Montgomery said Shane Montgomery, the show's curator. "Using the Transamerica is an ingenious way of getting people interested in a site-specific piece."
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