Saturday, March 10, 2018
Chewing Gum Art Revisited
Almost five years ago, I blogged about some tiny portraits that had been painted on blobs of chewing gum stuck to the sidewalk near the school where I work.
They're the product of artist Ben Wilson, and I checked up on them this week to see if they still exist. And they do! A bit worn and battered, but nonetheless still visible. That is some seriously super-durable chewing gum.
After all, who knows how long they'd been there before I blogged about them? Possibly years.
Wilson doesn't just paint on found gum. He developed a method that involves heating it with a blowtorch and applying several layers of lacquer to stabilize and harden his miniature artworks. These are probably portraits of people somehow associated with the area around the school -- they could even be from the school, though I don't recognize them.
It no doubt helps that these artworks are near the outer edge of the sidewalk, where there are light poles and other obstacles forcing most of the foot traffic to the center. They probably don't get stepped on that often.
I wonder if Wilson is still painting his chewing gum art? I haven't found any for a while, but then again, I haven't always been looking. Shame on me!