Saturday, July 26, 2008

Klimt and chewing gum

We've been out and about these last few days, firstly to Liverpool, past the Tall Ships moored in the docks, to see the Klimt exhibition, here:

Then to London where we met up with a most amazing guy, Ben Wilson, aka The Chewing Gum Man.
Walking along the street in London, you can see horrid little pieces of dried up chewing gum, that people have chewed, spat out, and then they have been trodden on and dried up. Ben Wilson transforms them into minature pieces of art. They are absolutely fantastic, well painted, each one has a story, and they are dotted everywhere, but untill you have seen the first one, you dont notice them, they are so small and look like small pieces of litter from a distance.
After talking to Ben a couple of times, somthing clicked, and I realised that we both grew up in the same area, know alot of the same people, and I remember, 20 or more years ago, walking through our local woods and coming across enormous sculptures made with trunks and branches of trees, also by Ben, he used to create them at night in secret, and then people would have wonderful suprises finding them in the woods, no one knew who had made them, or where they came from.
We asked Ben if it was OK to post about him on our blog, and Toby took some pics of the chewing gum art, on his mobile phone, which he will post here sometime soon to show you.
In the meantime have a look here:
and read here:

What do you think?


Blogger Christiane said...

I like the chewing gum and the wooden sculpture ideas a lot!
Although I hate it when people spit out chewing gums on pavements as those always end up fresh and gooey under my flip flops.
The Klimt exhibition sounds great!

7/26/2008 1:37 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

What a good idea. So creative! If people don't like it, the people who spit out the gum are the ones to complain to IMHO.

7/26/2008 2:28 PM  
Blogger Caroline B said...

That was interesting Penny - I'd heard of the chewing gum man before but it was nice to see his work in detail. Can't believe the police were so heavy-handed with him though - sad world we live in.

7/26/2008 4:32 PM  
Blogger natural attrill said...

Hi Caroline,
Yep, it's awful isnt it, he told me about what happened himself, very sad.
All the little paintings are so small and so lovely, and he paints them for people, to tell their story or message. he seemed like a really lovely guy.

7/26/2008 4:46 PM  
Blogger French Fancy said...

Penny, what an original idea Ben has had and at our stamping ground too!

How lovely you were in London (feel homesick now).

7/27/2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

What does he do to make a living when not painting gum, I wonder?

And I wonder what was up with the police to come down so savagely on such an inocuous (and beautiful) activity...? people... grumble...

7/27/2008 11:51 PM  
Blogger Magpie Magic said...

The little pictures are so interesting and each one is so different. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

7/28/2008 10:07 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

hello penny and toby. the chewing gum man is great. i have seen him on the tv before now but it was good to look at the link to see his mini gum paintings up close. hope you are both having a good summer. dx.

7/28/2008 11:12 AM  
Blogger SueC said...

WOW...I love those paintings!! I had never heard of him before so thanks for posting that!

7/29/2008 6:04 PM  

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