Walking the streets of Chicago I noticed gum splats everywhere I stepped. Someone had spit this gum from their mouth because it had lost its taste. When gum loses its ability to adapt it gets destroyed.
Yet there is was on the sidewalk still ready to become something new and good, still ready to reveal something profound. I saw all this gum, like I thought about myself, having to find a space on the ground and having no idea if I was even welcome to this world or just plain forgotten. I watched all this gum grabbing people by the bottom of their shoe, suddenly forcing them to hustle through it or remove it altogether. All this gum, once so alive because it was flexed on the palette, against the roof of the mouth, and by the tip of the tongue, was still meant to be included, still had to move forward
In all its different forms, colors, hardness and experience. The more I chew it the more flavorsI taste, and the more texture there is in the reality of my art. It’s not about good or bad. . . I know people will observe my work differently. Some will take it home and join it to their purpose. Some will want to walk around it.
Delgado had tested his process long before he began crowd-funding. As he put it:
“The new paintings will be based on a process and technique I developed and tested when I first explored making paintings based on the gum splats.
I paint into and around the black image, never using any other black anywhere in the painting but that which is the gum impression itself. ”
The original studies were all mixed media on watercolor paper.
Chewed Up Spit-Out & Forgotten, The Gum Spotting Experience was visionary artist Michel Delgado’s first Kickstarter, crowd-funding campaign.
Delgado set out to raise $6,800 to create a series of thirty-six original paintings, a Field Guide on the restorative practice of gum spotting, and a gum inspired public exhibition and event
The campaign on Kickstarter ran from September 14, 2013 through November 10, 2013, passing it’s primary goal of $6,800 on the 15th day. At the close of the campaign, $9,205 was pledged, a 135% success.
The medium format, 22” x 18”, has less gumsplats worked into the painting, maybe two, maybe a piece more, and they are more intimate. They know each other and there is interaction. It’s a more controlled circle, an environment of people moving together. More of a circle.
The smallest format, 20” x 14”, is singularand most like the images of the original studies.
I work with visions and paint on hard andreusable surfaces, withraw materials, in a style Itaught myself because I hadto facilitate my need to paint, to innovate, and asthe technique evolved it allowed me to develop the depth and commitment tomy art which makes it allturn over and again, every day.