menu

Artist Uses Discarded Chewing Gum As Blank Canvas

Artist Uses Discarded Chewing Gum As Blank Canvas
culture

Ben Wilson paints miniature pieces of art on squashed gum that litters London streets.

Daniela Walker
  • 18 february 2013

English artist Ben Wilson looks at society and he sees a lot of consumerism and a lot of waste. Instead of contributing to that waste, he takes what others would consider to be trash and transforms it into tiny bits of artwork. His work is all in miniature because Wilson’s sole canvas is the flatten pieces of chewed up gum that people spit on the street.

chewing-gum-art-ben-wilson1

Wilson began painting on chewing gum in 1998, while also working on larger scale works, but he shifted his focus solely to chewing gum art in 2004 and has created over 10,000 pieces since then. This is art in its purest form, not done for profit, but for creativity’s sake. Wilson mostly works for free, happy that his works gives other people joy. On occasion, he has received commissions such as the Royal Society of Chemistry who hired him to paint 118 gum pieces of the known elements.

chewing-gum-art-ben-wilson7

His art takes him out onto the streets of London, looking down for the perfect bit of gum to begin his work. When he chooses his canvas, he dries off any excess moisture and lacquers the gum. He then uses acrylic paint to create intricate and colorful artwork, bright and complex for such a small scale. His method of works means that the gum art will last for several years, but should people step on them or they get removed, Wilson doesn’t mind. He says:

Everything is transitory. What is important is the creative process.

See a short film about Wilson and more of his work below:

Ben Wilson

Pictures via Fun of Art // Kuriositas

Trending

Modular System Lets Musicians Create Their Own MIDI Controllers

Arts & Culture
Travel Yesterday

Mercedes Reveals Dazzle-Free LED Headlights

Digital Light offers great precision with a resolution of over two million pixels

Product Launch Yesterday

Nissan Is Testing A Digital Car Sharing Program In Europe

Nissan plans to launch their new service in Paris sometime this year to trial the profile-matching service

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Social Media Yesterday

Your Favorite Tweets Are Now Wearable

This temporary tattoo allows fans to wear their most favorite moments from the social platform

Health Yesterday

This Mirror Tracks Your Dark Circles And Fine Lines

HiMirror is a device snaps a photo of your face every day to provide feedback on how to care for your skin

Related Expert

Shivani Siroya

Financial Tools In Emerging Markets

Sustainability Yesterday

Biodegradable Furniture Made From Pine Needles Could Be The Next Phase Of Sustainable Living

Premiering at Dutch Design Week 2016, the collection fully utilizes an often wasted material

Retail Yesterday

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

Syndicated Yesterday

Madrid's 'Robin Hood' Cafe Charge The Rich To Feed The Poor

The charity restaurant makes money from customers by day to offer homeless people meals at night

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 5, 2016

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

USA Yesterday

Amazon Launches Cashier-Free Store For Ultimate Efficiency

The retailer is looking to make shopping even faster by letting customers instantly pay as they walk out the door

Augmented & Virtual Reality Yesterday

Marble-Like Mini-Worlds Invade Miami Art Week And Your Mobile Screen

The gallery world's sphere of influence seems to be expanding into the realm of Pokémon Go—why that's a good thing

Technology Yesterday

A 'USB Stick' That Can Detect HIV Levels

The simple device developed at Imperial College London measures viral load in less than 30 minutes

Customer Retention Yesterday

Crafting The Personalized Retail Experience

Marriott International's Christopher Baer shares insights into how the hospitality company is strategizing customer service

Retail Yesterday

Zagat's Cafe Offers Tiny Replicas Of Classic NYC Dishes

The restaurant rating service created buzz for its new guide and app by opening a tiny food cafe

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017:
Conference Built Around Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Children Yesterday

Experience The White House In Augmented Reality Using A $1 Bill

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is an AR app designed to help people learn about the history and significance of the United State's capital building

Travel Yesterday

Portable Computer Monitor Opens Up Like An Umbrella For Travelers

This mobile screen and projector means work can go anywhere and still feel like working from home

Food Yesterday

Starbucks Is Selling An Automated Temperature-Setting Mug

For those looking to keep their coffee hot on their winter commutes, the coffee chain has created a device that keeps beverages exactly at their desire temperature

No search results found.