Perhaps the eternally unanswerable question. But definitely something to chew on... When I first saw it, I was instantly captivated.
At first thought, what a brilliant example of modern pointillism! Has some unknown artist taken up the long abandoned banner of Georges Seurat and presented us with a new manifesto championing art as points of light illuminating our waking dreams?!
Gum Wall in Seattle
by Paul Balcerak
OK, I see now it’s not a painting at all, so my pointillism exuberance is dashed. It’s more likely one of those photo collages with thousands of small images being arranged to create a larger picture. That’s cool. So what’s the picture?
If I stare intently long enough, will it suddenly “emerge,” like the ones they sell on the Venice Beach Boardwalk?
OK... it’s gum.
But, hold on.
It is definitely eye-catching.
And it has definitely held my attention and stirred my consciousness long enough to force the gears in my head to grind out some “answer” as to how I feel about it. And the brief cerebral adventure sparked by this “work” has brought a bit of fun, a flash of joy, into my heart. Why, I actually think it’s a fine example of performance art, even if only a few of the “artists” involved ever gave a moment’s thought as to where, for best aesthetic impact, they would stick their plug of gum. “Unconscious Group Performance Art (UGPA).”(!!!) An artwork years, perhaps decades, in the making!
In any case, it made me think and wonder. It made me feel (happy). So, it’s art to me, even if it’s just saliva-soaked vandalism to someone else. And isn’t that what the wonder of life and art is really all about?
I pose the question back onto you.
Is this art?
Btw, speaking of pointillism, here is a list of 10 deviants that have some wonderful examples of the artform in their galleries.
Since Posting My Thoughts on “The Wall of Gum”
A remarkable number of deviants have responded with their own observations on this “artwork,” pointing out elements for “consideration as art” that I hadn’t even thought of while recording my initial assessment. These included: the question of intention and/or purpose of the artist(s), the effects of time and weather on the piece, and even the architecture of the gummed-upon structure as fundamental to its essence. I hope that by reading these awesomely perspicacious first responses, posted below, more deviants will be encouraged to weigh in with your own unique insights. The Wall of Gum demands that attention must be paid!
Here is a small sampling of deviants who have already contributed mightily to the conversation in the thread below. Please share your thoughts with them regarding their opinions or provide us with a completely new take on the question, "but is it art?"