Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chewing Gum Art and a Lost Poppet

There's a guy named Ben Wilson who goes around London painting artworks on little round deposits of chewing gum that have dried to the sidewalk. It's kind of ingenious, really, to see something so mundane as a canvas for art. (To see the incredible detail and variety of London's chewing gum art, click here.)

Yesterday, around the corner from our flat, I found this little masterpiece -- a painted street scene with cars and pedestrians. I was excited to find an example of Wilson's work so close to my own home! I was even more surprised to see that it's dated 2012, which means it's been there for a year. How can that be true? How have I missed it all this time? I pride myself on paying attention to my surroundings. (In my defense, it's often dark when I pass this spot, walking Olga first thing in the morning.)

Last night Dave and I went to dinner with our neighbor Chris, and I showed them the chewing gum art afterwards. We all agreed it's easily mistaken for a sticker, a bit of trash, stuck to the sidewalk.

This morning, on our walk, Olga and I found this little poppet resting atop a discarded stack of videos at the curbside. I did not salvage the videos -- because really, a VCR tape is one of the most useless things in the world now -- but I did rescue the poppet. I left it in Dave's chair as a wake-up present. He will probably be horrified.


Reya Mellicker said...

Umm. There's a lot of energy in that poppet. I hope you won't keep it. Gently and respectfully dispose of it.

I am not joking!

As for the chewing gum art, well - wow! I love our human creativity. When I notice something that's been in my field of view for awhile, to me that means something about my mind has shifted, slightly or more than slightly. Maybe something about what you have to look at while at work has altered your focus just enough that you saw the painting. Maybe.

Ms. Moon said...

Human creativity knows absolutely no bounds, does it? I love the little Poppet. I would probably keep it around forever.

Lynne said...

I"m with Reya on this one. When first saw your little poppet it gave me the creepy crawlies. Evil came to mind. Yikes. What did Dave think?

Love the chewing gum art. Did he paint around the piece of gum? Or directly on the squashed surface?

Linda Sue said...

The little person is exactly adorable cute and loveable, Thank you so much for the rescue. Anything with a face must be adopted, I think that is the universal rule of kindness...The gum art is fantastic! He must use very strong paint of some sort. Love the link to all of the little gems. You are a prize finder!
Thank you for the book title, I will look for it, I have read Julie of the wolves a long time ago when Erik was wee.

Steve Reed said...

Reya: But how do you know it's not a good-energy poppet? I'm all for keeping him. Of course, the next time something bad happens, we can blame it on him!

Ms Moon: I am amazed at the things people do.

Lynne: It's just the hair. Dave actually got quite a kick out of it! Ben Wilson paints ON the gum -- it becomes the canvas.

Linda Sue: I'm amazed that the gum artist's paint lasts as long as it does. It IS super strong.

Elizabeth said...

Can we get a photo of what Dave looks like when he's horrified?

I'm just teasing --

The Bug said...

I LOVE the poppet! It would definitely find a permanent home with us :)