This post was drafted over six years ago; I have a gazillion posts in draft (the list is 59 pages long!), and most will never appear. Here’s the total posts from my dashboard:
As I’m busy doing Stuff this afternoon, I thought I’d dredge up a nearly completed early post, and found this one from mid-2011.
I thought I’d seen it all vis-à-vis modern art, but here’s a new twist. As The New York Times reports today [that’s June 14, 2011, folks], artist Ben Wilson has made a career out of painting squashed blobs of chewing gum on the London sidewalks.
. . .Mr. Wilson, 47, one of Britain’s best-known outsider artists, has for the last six years or so immersed himself in a peculiar passion all his own: he paints tiny pictures on flattened blobs of discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks of London. So familiar is he here, painting in any kind of weather, that he has become something of a local celebrity and mascot.
“He brings a lot of joy to a lot of people,” said Peter Kyriacou, who owns the local Snappy Snaps photography store, which has a number of Wilson works out front. . .
. . . His current project was inspired by a variety of concerns: the scourge of chewing gum on city sidewalks, people’s carelessness about the environment and how advertisements, not art, rule the urban landscape.
I actually like his work: it’s quirky, colorful, and amusing. Here are a few “works”:
He developed a technique in which he softens the gum with a blowtorch, sprays it with lacquer and then applies three coats of acrylic enamel. He uses tiny brushes, quick-drying his work with a lighter as he goes along, and then seals it with clear lacquer. Each painting takes between a few hours and a few days, and can last several years if the conditions are right.
You can see a video clip of Wilson here.