January 23, 2017

Porky Hefer Turns Whimsical Doodles Into Human-Sized Nests

R & Company, New York, is showing Porky Hefer’s Caterpillar, its steel frame woven with cane and draped with raffia from South Africa. Photography by Rudi Geyser.

Sibling rivalry isn’t always a bad thing. Porky Hefer, whose given name is Willem but acquired his porcine nickname as a child, courtesy of his older brother, has made the most out of it. That may be due in part to promotional skills honed during his former life working for such advertising agencies as Ogilvy & Mather. When he left to open his own socially conscious agency in Cape Town, he aptly named it Animal Farm.

Sketches by Porky Hefer.

Then he changed course entirely to launch Porky Hefer Design, which he abbreviates PhD and where he has combined his do-gooder side with his lifelong love of doodling. To translate his drawings into human-size nests, fabricated by hand with indigenous South African fibers, he employs local craftspeople. “The nests encourage us to go back to what is human, natural, and playful,” he says. Seven of them suspend from the ceiling in the Hefer exhibition “Heart of Lightness” through February 23 at the New York gallery R & Company.

Sketch by Porky Hefer.
Sketch by Porky Hefer.
Porky Hefer’s Wasp Nest. Photography courtesy of Joe Kramm/R & Company.

James Brown and Caterpillar sculptures. Photography courtesy of Joe Kramm/R & Company.

Mask and Bwa Leaf Mask sculptures. Photography courtesy of Joe Kramm/R & Company.

> See more from the January 2017 issue of Interior Design

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