Ben Wilson

When this scheduled post is shared with you, I will be two hours away, preparing for my brother's wedding. Less than a year ago, he proposed to his girlfriend of four years and on Saturday, he will publicly swear his love to her. It's been stressful, these past few weeks, and I have much to share--about the wedding, about my job search, about the infinite memories and feelings and thoughts and photographs that spun about me as I unpacked and divulged into childhood memories.

But, for right now, it isn't about me; it's about my lovely brother, Keith, and his soon-to-be wife, "Mrs. Keith." My only part in the day is to play the part of bridesmaid (here's hoping I don't teeter too much in my patent leather shoes). So here is to the beginning of a lovely weekend, a wonderful marriage ... aaaaand wells of tears from my mother.

And now, the artist of the week...

Ben Wilson is an English wood carver and outside artist. He carved sculptures in wooded areas, but would often find many of his works vandalized and destroyed. Having a "strong dislike for rubbish, he developed a new art form that is both vandal-proof and beautifies rubbish."

He paints chewing gum.

An article in the New York Times says that "a woman named Vassiliki, who was passing by, said that when she came upon Mr. Wilson, prone and seemingly inert on the sidewalk, 'I thought he wasn’t very well.' She added: 'I was like, "What is he doing?" And they told me: "He’s painting the chewing gum." '

That is exactly what he was doing. Mr. Wilson, 47, one of Britain’s best-known outsider artists, has for the last six years or so immersed himself in a peculiar passion all his own: he paints tiny pictures on flattened blobs of discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks of London. So familiar is he here, painting in any kind of weather, that he has become something of a local celebrity and mascot.

'He brings a lot of joy to a lot of people,' said Peter Kyriacou, who owns the local Snappy Snaps photography store, which has a number of Wilson works out front."

Wilson softens the gum with a blowtorch, sprays it with lacquer and then applies three coats of acrylic enamel. He uses tiny brushes, quick-drying his work with a lighter as he goes along.

To see more of Wilson's work, visit Flickr.


  1. Those are absolutely amazing. The creativity of some people ...

  2. I've never actually seen that before, how cool!

    I hope your brothers wedding went well, my sister is mid planning hers at the moment and driving me crazy lol :)

  3. this is insane!!! i can't imagine painting on such a tiny surface


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