Archive for the ‘U.S.A.’ Category

Candy Ass Crosses America: A Photo Essay

January 13, 2009

Laura and I road tripped across the country with a fish named Candy Ass made of shards of metal and rusty nails. The sharp-edged sea creature is the work of Greensboro artist Frank Russell, a new acquisition of mine that will hang in my room once I get one. Laura and I decided to document the fish’s journey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Greensboro, North Carolina


All packed up, Candy Ass warms by the fire before his cross-country road trip to Portland.

Mississippi River, Tennessee


Candy Ass gazes over the slow-moving Mississippi, loving the fact that it’s pouring rain.

Memphis, Tennessee


At 7 a.m. the morning after, Candy Ass is still on Beale Street.

The Plains, Oklahoma


Candy Ass is home, home on the range — but not feeling quite at home.

Amarillo, Texas


Candy Ass poses with a giant steer after completing the Big Texan Steak Ranch’s 72-ounce challenge: eating a 72-ounce steak in less than an hour.

The Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico


Running on empty, Candy Ass curses the fact that this gas station’s closed in the middle of the snowy New Mexican desert.

The Desert, Arizona


Candy Ass looks over the dry Arizonan desert and dreams of the mighty Mississippi.

More Desert, Arizona


Three fish out of water in the Arizonan desert.

San Francisco, California


After taking a much-craved dip in the San Francisco Bay, Candy Ass admires the Golden Gate Bridge.

Humboldt County, California


Candy Ass takes in the immensity of the redwood trees.


Laura has learned to handle her sharp-edged travel companion with care.


Candy Ass and Christina frolic through the redwoods.

Outside of Trinidad, Northern California


Candy Ass gets a taste of the Pacific Ocean and wonders what the schools are like on the west coast.

Portland, Oregon


Candy Ass arrives in Portland intact, a bit wiser and more worldly for the journey, and looks forward to settling into his new home.

And now, for few words on the Candy Ass’ creator:

Frank Russell does not get upset when people leave broken appliances and scrap metal at the end of his driveway. In fact, he’s grateful. The Greensboro artist hammers discarded items he finds around town into sculptures of gape-mouthed sea creatures. At his hand, meatloaf trays become snouts, rubber hoses become tentacles and tin cans become dorsal fins. Piles of trash become fish, seahorses, turtles, crabs and stingrays.

In addition to creating a body of sea creatures that has gained a worldwide following, Russell has recycled nine tons of material since he started making the sculptures in 1999. He is central to the development of the art scene in downtown Greensboro.

To see more of his work, visit Artmongerz gallery on Elm Street in Greensboro or