I can’t decide if this guy is a genius or if he is having a mid life crisis. Ben Wilson, age 41, travels around Europe painting the gum that people have spit out on the sidewalks. He can spend up to ten hours painting one piece of gum. Your mind isn’t blown yet? Well check out the photos below.
Each one of these painted pieces of gum is only about 1 inch tall and 1 inch wide. This is a meticulous process where he first blow torches the gum to heat it, then he adds lacquer to harden it and finally he paints it with acrylic paints.
He has painted over 10,000 pieces of discarded gum all over the UK and Europe. Ben says, “I am caring about the environment I am working in – in my rucksack I have a dustpan and brush and I will be sweeping up glass or sick all the time. It’s definitely art, but I wouldn’t actually worry if you called it vandalism.” Wallflower Dispatches did a wonderful interview with Ben that you can read here.
Being the germophobe that I am, I can’t get passed the thought of touching someone’s spit ridden piece of gum on the pavement, but I suppose the blow torch gets rid of all the germs, right? :)
Each one of these colorful little designs below is a piece of gum stuck to the concrete.