A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kingdom Gum

I'm glad that we live in a world where we can express ourselves in more ways than cave painting. If only Ogg had a larger brain and a well-stocked 7-11 at his disposal, perhaps he could have made art approaching the sheer beauty of Ben Harben's. Ben is a Florida native who moved to Columbia, Missouri last January. He and his significant other weren't prepared for the crazybitter cold of the Missouri winter (did anyone catch a whiff of native Nebraska sarcasm?). Ben did what any sensible human would do in the face of such adversity...settle down in front of the television! The television provided him with perfect source material for his chosen artistic medium, which is making paintings out of CHEWING GUM! He began painting the stars of the inescapable reality shows on television--Paris Hilton, Ruben Studdard, William Hung...and will now paint a custom portrait for you. Ben gave some details about his technique in this newspaper interview:

"It’s only about $30 for a bag of 200," he said. "About the cost to fill a cavity."

Ben Harben uses seven different colors and white, which he mixes with the colors to create tints.

He chews up several pieces of one color and mixes them together for consistency.

It took Ben Harben several attempts to find the perfect gum and the perfect method. He only uses the Dubble Bubble brand, and he only chews enough to break up the candy shell that coats the gum ball, eliminating the gritty texture while retaining the gum’s rich color. Then, he leaves the gum to dry overnight.

The next day, he lays the colors on the panel after creating an outline based on a photo. The last step involves covering the portrait with resin to preserve the works so that they won’t decay.
Each painting costs around $275, a huge bargain considering the love (and probable dental bills) that go into them.

LINK link to previous Extreme Craft Bubblegum art post


At 8/15/2005 03:04:00 PM, Blogger Whitney said...

totally relevant, check it out:



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