For all the enjoyment that can be derived from chewing gum, it sure can be a nuisance. Nearly everyone has had the misfortune of a sticky, unhygienic encounter with used gum at one point in their lives. Which begs the question: is gum the bane of our existence once it’s done being chewed?
Artist Ben Wilson makes us reconsider our feelings towards discarded gum. Using it as a canvas, Wilson has created tiny, colorful installations all over London. Wilson flattens blobs of gum he finds on the streets by using a blowtorch to soften them. Once flattened, he draws and paints on the gum using small tools, lacquer, and acrylic paints.
This unusual art features aspects of London and its residents. These themes, while capturing a moment in time, illustrate Wilson’s dedication and involvement in his community. Although each miniature masterpiece can last several years under the right conditions, Wilson fully embraces their impermanent nature. Like all things in life, this street exhibit is changed moment by moment.