Look well, next time you’re out in London, and you’ll see that the streets are covered in pale splats that look like bird droppings. In fact they’re the remains of people’s spat-out and trampled-on chewing gum.
London councils spend more than £4 million a year trying and failing to clean gum off their pavements. They’ve tried high pressure steam guns, and chemicals of all sorts, but nothing works. They’ve begged chewing gum manufacturers to change their recipe, and been told it’s impossible. They’ve cajoled the masticating public with ” gum targets” stuck on lamp posts (a truly revolting idea), and threatened them with fines. All to no avail.
It takes a certain kind of genius to see people’s spat-out globs of chewing gum as the means of beautifying a city. Artist Ben Wilson is that sort of genius. Where others see streets splattered with gummy eyesores, Ben sees thousands of tiny canvases.