LONDON PAVEMENTS 10.11.10
I'm cheating here because I haven't seen this art, only pictures of it on the above website. When I go out I try to keep my eyes down, but no luck so far.
Ben Wilson paints miniature pictures on chewing gum stuck firmly to the pavement, having first prepared his ‘canvas’ to make it more durable by applying heat and lacquer. Old gum is best having no moisture and presenting a good flat surface. Each one may take from a couple of hours to days to paint. Some are abstract, some are representational and may refer to people or places in the neighbourhood. They belong to no one and there’s no plaque nearby to tell you what they stand for. The more people are creative in their environment, Wilson believes, the more they’ll feel responsibility for it.
On screen the pictures look like bright little cameos which should lift the hearts on any passerby. Unless of course they feel that making something special out of second hand chewing gum is disgusting. There’s a question as to whether he can be charged with criminal damage too, though, as he reasonably points out, the damage has already been done by the person who spat out the gum.
The Royal Society of Chemistry is exploring the possibility of commissioning him to paint depictions of each of the 118 known elements.