Chewing Gum Art
Making Unique Art from Gum
What do you do with your bubble gum after you're done blowing bubbles? You know you're not supposed to put that piece of gum under the desk. Welcome to the world of chewing gum art. There are several artists out there who use chewing gum as their primary medium. This lens will introduce you to Jason Kronenwald, Ben Wilson, Jamie Marraccini, and Maurizio Savini and hopefully inspire you to become one, too!
What Is Chewing Gum Art?
It's simple, really.
Chewing gum art is really easy to understand. It's basically art from chewing gum. Or bubble gum. Any of those sticky things will do. While there are many varieties and types of chewing gum art (2D, 3D, large, or small), there are a few features that are universal.
- The gum (regular chewing gum or bubble gum) has been chewed.
- The artist works directly with the gum.
- It's fascinating artwork that, well, isn't very common.
- Not just a collection of chewed gum.
Love it or Hate it? - Is it art? Are you a fan?
What do you think about chewing gum art?
Chosen Lens of the Day January 12, 2011. Thank you!
Artist Ben Wilson
London based gum artist
Ben Wilson is a London based artist who, since 2004, has been beautifying the city by painting small drawings on sidewalk gum. It's said that at any moment, there's about "http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/556654.painting_a_gum_trail/">300,000 pieces of gum stuck to the sidewalk on Oxford Street. People just spit them out, and once stuck, they are very difficult to remove and clean up. However, this doesn't faze Ben Wilson. He gets on his hands and knees, pulls out his acrylics, and paints a miniature scene on each of them.
Ben Wilson says, "I'm not defacing the pavement, it is more sensitive than that. I don't want to get in people's faces I'm not a graffiti artist. You get so many reactions from people, their reactions are so different, but rarely are they negative."
Found on the street...
Watch a Video on Ben Wilson - See Ben Wilson in action
For another great video, watch this bit by the BBC. Chewing gum artist: Painting miniature masterpieces
Links About Ben Wilson - Learn more about Ben Wilson's gum art
- Article on Ben Wilson
Local London article about Ben Wilson.
- Ben Wilson in Raw Vision Magazine
Has photos of his gum paintings.
- BBC News - Chewing gum artist: Painting miniature masterpieces
An artist is making the streets of London a little more colourful by painting miniature pictures on pieces of discarded chewing gum.
- New York Times - Whimsical Works of Art, Found Sticking to the Sidewalk
Ben Wilson continues to fascinate onlookers with his chewing gum art.
Artist Jason Kronenwald
Who is this chewing gum artist?
Jason Kronenwald hails from Ancaster, Ontario, Canada and graduated from King's University. He currently resides in Toronto and spends countless hours making chewing gum art. His first gum artwork was produced in 1996, and from that, he is most well known for his gum celebrity portraits series entitled "Gum Blondes." Each portrait is made of gum on plywood, which is then covered with an epoxy resin to preserve it. Portraits have sold for $1000 to $2500, though Jason keeps his day job as an interior designer.
LE Gallery states, "Each Gum Blonde is 100% chewed Bubblegum on a plywood backing. No paint or dye is used. The colour is inherent to the gum-the mixing of colour takes place inside the mouth during chewing. Kronenwald has a dedicated team of chewers and prefers the texture of Trident. However, he does not chew gum himself unless he must." Jason Kronenwald also says, "At times it can disgust me but I just focus on the colours I need and get the portrait going."
Who are his Gum Blondes? Hillary Clinton, Avril Lavigne, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Princess Diana, Madonna, Twiggy, and more!
His artwork was on display at LE Gallery in Summer 2008.
Some Gum Blondes (haha.nu)
Links About Jason Kronenwald - and his amazing artwork
- Official Homepage of Gum Blondes
This is his official homepage where you can see a picture of all of his Blondes.
- LE Gallery Solo Exhibition
Find more images from his exhibition in Summer 2008.
- DigitalJournal Interview
Jason Kronenwald describes his gum art process in more detail.
- Another Interview with Jason Kronenwald
Question and Answer style interview about his bubblegum art.
Artist Jamie Marraccini
Gum artist who encourages others
Jamie Marraccini is not an artist by training. In fact, he was an electrical engineering student, then a medical student training for pediatrics or family practice when he went big into his gum obsession. Jamie's art is characterized by bright and vivid colors, but this is by no accident. In fact, Jamie Marraccini takes a scientific approach when choosing his gum, testing new gum or letting them "age" for six months in order to see what the final color will be. He also notes that textures can be different and some hold up better than others.
In his own words, "Over the years I've jawed most of what the world has to offer, I believe gum is a smile waiting to be given away, and I've created 30 works totaling more than 35,000 pieces of gum. I've now come to the realization that the gum justifies the art. The fun is in the chewing and the art is an expression of the fun. Just remember, gum is not chewed for health or sustenance. People chew gum for pleasure. It is in that spirit that GumArt exists, and I am a spreader of gum."
Jamie Marraccini has also developed Chew-by-Numbers, a gum art kit for kids.
Jamie Marraccini on Food Network - Watch this video interview of Jamie Marraccini
Links About Jamie Marraccini - Learn more about Jamie Marraccini's art
- Jamie Marraccini's Official Homepage
See photos of his fantastic art pieces.
You can be your own gum artist with one of Jamie Marraccini's kits.
- Short Interview with Jamie Marraccini
Local newspaper interviews Jamie Marraccini on his gum art.
- Interview with the Washington Post
Great interview with Jamie Marraccini where he gives some technical details to his art.
Artist Maurizio Savini
Italian chewing gum artist
Maurizio Savini is an Italian sculptor known for his fiberglass and pink gum art. Rather than making gum "paintings," he specializes in three-dimensional work that really brings out the original texture of the gum. He preserves the pink color, so he doesn't tend to mix the gum with other gums. He also doesn't use his gum all chewed up. Perhaps saves him a lot of energy there. Definitely take a look at his interesting sculptures.
Links about Maurizio Savini - See more chewing gum artwork
Who's your favorite gum artist? What's your favorite gum?