Chewed bubble gum
In this piece by Jason Kronenwald, infamous hotel heiress Paris Hilton looks over her shoulder, shoots you a sultry stare and provocative pout. Her sharp cheekbones, piercing blue eyes and life-like features make Kronenwalds painting is so realistic that could easily be mistaken for a paparazzi photo. Hard to believe that it is made entirely of pre-chewed bubblegum.
Part of a series called Gum Blonde, Kronenwald created this piece with gum chewed by his friends and family, without any paint or dye. His palette is comprised of the colours created by the flavours of gum. Innovative and extraordinary, his work has gained so much popularity, that it has been featured on MuchMusic, The National Post, Elle Magazine, Inside Edition, and even Ripleys Believe it or Not.
He takes a cue from Andy Warhol and Chuck Close, artists he admires for working in portraiture in unusual ways. In a market yearning for something different, Kronenwalds series explores wholly undiscovered territory.
As an artist, I feel a need to honour these lip-synching, boob-enhancing idols in an appropriate manner. The qualities of chewing gum make it a fitting material to use sticky, sweet, consumed by kids, cheap, readily available, artificial, over-packaged, gimmicky, salivated over, chewed up and spit out. Essentially, gum is produced to be thrown away. In my Gum Blondes series, the message is the medium.
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