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Are Pigs Color-Blind?

Alas, yes. But that doesn’t stop Tim Nye, his 10-year-old, and their special friend from enjoying an apartment like this.

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“No, I did all the interior work myself,” says Tim Nye, when asked if he worked with a designer to create his Crayola-colored duplex on the upper floors of a West Village brownstone. “I’m the gayest straight man you’ll ever meet.” That’s a stretch—a reference to Diana Vreeland sailed clear over his head. Not to mention that his beloved wiry-haired four-legged friend is a pig.

Wally, a miniature potbellied pig, was the pet project of his precocious 10-year-old daughter, Moppy, who splits her time between the homes of her father and her mother, Nye’s ex-wife, who lives around the corner. “It was a solid year of Moppy convincing me that pigs were the ideal pet,” he says. “Like a cat in terms of maintenance, like a dog in terms of personality. And he is pretty great—he goes out for walks, he goes to the dog run. And he makes these funny pig noises that make him sound like an old man.”

But even if the pig was Moppy’s idea, his offbeat presence fits in awfully well with Nye’s taste for subtly puzzling things. He even keeps random artworks by Moppy around the office at Nyehaus, his eight-year-old gallery in Chelsea, just to keep clients guessing.

And it’s not easy to see rhyme or reason in the apartment. “A lot of the furniture is from the fifties and sixties, but I threw some contemporary stuff in there,” says Nye. “I have a lot of minimalist art and then I have a lot of what I call maximalist art.” Like five ventriloquist dummies by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Philippe Parreno.

It’s an odd mash-up of two of today’s predominant design bents, the spartan, high-art aesthetic of the sixties and the curio-cabinet zeal for stuff that marked the Victorian age—even if Nye is indifferent to the neo-Victorian look of antiques and taxidermy. “I don’t need a moose head,” he says. Who would, with a live pig in the house?


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