Ben believes there is a pretentiousness around a lot of art that can be intimidating. Instead, he’s taking art out of the gallery and onto the streets so that everybody can see it and enjoy it.
‘I am upset by all the garbage and sense of disconnection where people just affect things in a slightly detached way. When people detach from the environment, that’s when the environment gets destroyed and that’s also when people destroy each other.
‘When a person throws chewing gum, it’s a thoughtless action. I’m turning that around. People think they don’t have an effect. But all the people that chew gum and throw it on the street, they created that. Once painted, it suddenly takes on new meaning and has been given the kind of worth that would otherwise be unthinkable.’
Ben Wilson, The Chewing Gum Man
As well as working on gum, Ben has exhibited his paintings and sculptures in England, the United States, Germany, Ireland, Finland, France and Serbia.
Ben will be painting on the streets of Leeds from Wednesday 22-24 April and showing his work at Human Nature from 23 April-2 May. Register here for free tickets to Human Nature at The Gallery at Munro House in Leeds.