In this episode I sat down with the amazing Ben Wilson, better known to most as The Chewing Gum Man.
Ben is an artist and sculptor from North London who is best known for his miniature paintings on discarded chewing gums in London and beyond. He has transformed thousands of these pieces of waste into beautiful, colourful images around the world, including hundreds on London’s Millennium Bridge alone.
They are often dedicated to people, pets, local businesses and landmarks and always have a sense of humanity at their core. Often hard to find and existing in a grey area of ownership and public space it is a contradiction to what Ben sees as an overly consumerist age.
I’ve been following Ben’s art for many years and every time I discover a new piece it never ceases to blow me away or put a smile on my face.
We talk about his life and how he sees the chewing gum project as an act of community service, how it lead to his arrest and the subsequent court case with the City of London Police – which he won.
Talking with Ben, you can’t help but feel the passion and love he has for his art and the people and world around him. At the end of the episode Ben took a photo of me in the podcast studio and painted it outside with a dedication to the podcast.
Despite the fact this was the second time he has attributed a piece to me, this one really did blow me away and gave me the biggest smile I’ve had in years.
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