Photo by Randy Polumbo
Randy Polumbo is a softly spoken American artist who makes the snoozesome world of modern sculpture seem a hoot a minute. We defy you to bring us the head of any other young sculptor working today who regularly exhibits giant condom zeppelins and wheelie penis hot dogs. If none of that last sentence makes any sense to you, go check out his website at polumbo.com for a heap of knob and naughty-stuff-strewn work that will tickle your funny bone and make your eyes happy.
Randy also co-organises the annual Art Queen fair in his native Joshua Tree, California, which sees a whole host of arty people pitch up and do fancy stuff in a field on Randy’s land for a month or so every winter. After letting a plot of land to the God-fearing folk of the Jesus House of Prayer, you can imagine Randy’s surprise when the local sheriff’s department covered up his main work with a blue tarpaulin after complaints from his Jesus-loving lodgers on the grounds of public obscenity.
The work in question is a huge sea anemone-esque installation called “Buttercup”, shaped like a flower and made out of over-sized dildos with a butt-plug for a stigma and solar panels for petals that allow it to suck up desert sun all day so it can glow at night. We caught up with Randy to talk penis sculpture and church persecution.
Vice: If you passed this sculpture in the street while walking with your grandma, surely you’d blush?
Which sexual acts would you say are on a par with sushi?
So what actually happened when they tried to close down your butt-plug oasis?