What do you do with old chewing gum?
It's a subject that's discussed in the book but I wouldn't want to steal my own thunder by revealing too much. What I will do instead is show you a few solutions that didn't make it into the book. They involve people using gum as an art material.
First up, here are a few pieces by Maurizio Savini. Amazing aren't they? And all made from bubble gum.
But more pertinent to this blog (and book) is what you do with chewing gum that people drop on the pavement. Well, if you're Ben Wilson - the Chewing Gum Man - you turn each gum dimp into a miniature canvas.
There are thousands of his tiny gum paintings all over London; just last year he painted 400 alone on the span of the Millennium Bridge near Tate Modern (see this feature on the project). “If I were to paint on walls or the pavement itself, I’d be breaking the law, but they can’t accuse me of causing criminal damage because the criminal damage has already been done, by the gum", he explains. "I paint on chewing gum because I can’t be arrested, and there isn’t a plaque next to it telling you what it is and why it’s there, so people can create anything in their own imagination.”
I met him once while he was painting a gum picture on a pavement in Muswell Hill. He's surprisingly sane, considering what he does. All I know is that anyone who is doing their bit to make the city more colourful and exciting has my complete support and respect.
If you want to read more about some of the more innovative and surprising ways that people tackle the chewing gum problem, then pledge on my new book. Or, if you've pledged already, badger others to subscribe!
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