Local readers of ESPN.com might have noticed a little taste of home-- and chicken-- while browsing the site today. That's because the sports media giant featured an article on a 50-pound sculpture of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, crafted by Conshocken sculptor James Victor. The statue was made entirely out of ingredients of Subway sandwiches.
"It's mainly made out of bread, chicken, lettuce, and tomato," said Victor in an interview with Patch. "The hair was made out of chili peppers, the lips were red onion, and the eyes were white onions with black olives. I used mango skins too."
Victor says he made a paste-like substance out of bread and water to keep the whole thing together. It took about two weeks to create.
Some readers may already recognize Victor, who has had a long and successful career in sculpture since graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1968.
He's been featured in publications such as the New York Times and graced the cover of the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. His bust of former President Jimmy Carter resides in the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia, and he displays work more locally at Bryn Mawr College.
"I've been doing sculpture since the late 60's, but I've been doing food sculptures since the early 80's," said Victor, who started off with chocolate. "Then I had an opportunity to do the butter sculpture at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in 1995. Once I did that and had chocolate and butter under my belt, I thought I'd go all out."
One of Victor's first big food breaks was being hired by the Broadway musical “Sugar Babies” to carve chocolate sculptures of stars Mickey Rooney and Anne Miller, in honor of the show's 1000th performance.
Since then, his reputation has grown to a national level. Pictures show Emmitt Smith posing just a few feet away from Victor as he carves a bust of the famous Cowboys running back from Hershey's chocolate. Singer Vanessa Williams stands next to a five-foot chocolate sculpture of Ms. Brown, the latest M&M character.
In 2009, Victor sculpted a 1,700-pound chocolate replica of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch’s M&M car.
"I do this with my wife, Marie Pelton," said Victor. "We just finished the thing for M&M in January, and I just did another cheese sculpture for Roma Foods.”
Victor says he and Pelton do about ten jobs a year, and travel to fairs as far away as Los Angeles and Australia. This was the fourth sculpture they did for Subway, but unfortunately Victor said the next stop is in the dumpster.
"The expiration date is already up," the sculptor said, laughing. "They are temporary things. You make it long enough to last for the event, and after that it's yesterday's news."
See more of Jim Victor's work and reach out to him for business at JimVictor.com.