Today a friend shared a link to an article about candy that led me to a candy blog where I discovered an artist named Dan Colen who makes paintings out of chewing gum. When I saw these paintings, my reaction was that they are bright, intriguing, and a little bit icky.
A September 9, 2010 New York Times article about Dan Colen describes how he started using gum like Orbit, Trident, Juicy Fruit, and Big Red:
Mr. Colen, whose work is often illusionistic in one way or another, said he first started using the material in 2005 and 2006, in trompe l’oeil sculptures of boulders with bird droppings and wads of gum painted on them. He used real gum as a reference, he said, and “the problem was it looked so much better than the paint.” So he began to explore the artistic possibilities of the stuff.
At first Colen and his assistants chewed the gum, but it took so long to complete a single painting, Colen started heating the gum instead. Below are a few of the gum paintings. I’d love to hear your reactions. Do you think they are edgy? Or over the edge? Or something else? One last tidbit of information, one of Colen’s 2008 gum paintings sold at auction for approximately $70,000..