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Submitted on
July 8, 2011
Submitted with


16,099 (7 today)
62 (who?)

But is it Art?

Fri Jul 8, 2011, 5:52 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:

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.

Chewing Gum Wall
by Ricardo Martins

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.

:iconwolffoxin:  :iconkchan27:  :iconpikajane:  :iconsamuraijose:  :iconmasterofpointillism:  :icondoxie18:  :iconarmandoartist:  :iconscorpioshadow:  :iconxlxbetoxlx:  :iconletocallisto:

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?"

:iconmenollysagittaria: :iconfullmetalmono: :iconjackqajacqueline: :icontelephonicchicken: :iconlostatseaforever: :icondorianstretton: :iconsidequestpubs: :iconmattsykun: :iconhyshinara: :iconniallcloud: :iconquargranger: :iconschatten-drache: :icongryphonsshadow: :iconelianthos80: :icondozalt: :iconericforfriends: :iconartisticaviary: :iconsophiadragonmaster: :iconartandattitude: :iconleucisticraccoon: :iconcarlzors: :iconjeysie: :iconscarllettrulez: :iconvoidqueenelishiva: :iconxadrea: :iconshedsimas: :iconkitsune100percent: :iconultradudepatric: :iconthunderstatement: :iconiurypadilha: :iconsandpaperdaisy: :iconcreevesabudd: :iconnokari: :iconforgetdeny:

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o-Enide-o Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Too much trash today is considered art.
guyhawkes Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I usually compare the making of art as creating your own nation. You might declare your 50 sq ft garden your own nation, but until it's recognized as a nation by other nations, it doesn't have any international influence. Same with art; everything can be called art, but unless it's recognized by an institution(museum, gallery, buyers), it doesn't have much influence. Or buying power. Marcel Duchamp famously took a urinal inside a gallery, and changed it's function to that of art. But without the timing and circumstances, it wouldn't have had much "weight" as art. 
cosmicbrat Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014
Everything is Art..  There's even Art and cartoons in the smears of ketchup on your plate...

Wanna see some extreme Art..?  Make a cardboard cylinder about ten inches diameter by about as tall.. and fill it up with molten candle wax, and let it cool solid, then very carefully gently peal off the card without damaging the surface of the wax in any way, then study the textures, shapes, designs, in great depth, in dim soft lighting, or in bright sunlight..  You'll see a whole illustration of everything in your life, past, present, and future, if you study it deeply..

More weird Art.. Take extremely hot liquid candle wax, and dump it into a large tub of hot water..  The Art you get will "knock yer socks off"...

Try pouring molten silver in boiling water..  That'll be fun..  But please don't do it if you are accident prone, or always half asleep...

Pee in the snow..  That could be Art if you've got a good handle on it..  Let your girlfriend write your and her name in the snow with it, with a nice yellow heart outline around it...

Art is everywhere and is everything.. but for me, "a gummed up wall" isn't Art..  It's just a ridiculous nightmarish childish mess..  It could be compared to that farmer who drove his tractor and fully loaded field poop flinger machine into town a couple years ago, somewhere in the States, and splattered a ton of cow and pig dung all over the front of the government building early one Sunday..  Gum and liquid poop are not Art..

Wanna see some real "cosmic spiritual lava Art"..?   
That's as Art as it gets..  Sato must have been a very great person for the forces to do that..
I'm supposing you can see the great lion protecting the grave...
hockeymask Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014
The photographic interpretation is definitely art.The photograph is the medium .The words that describe the gum wall may also be artistically relevant.Prose and poetry about the gum wall may also be "artistically creative ".There may be a thousand ways to interpret the gum wall - it all depends on the paradigm.Is it art in itself ?How long is a piece of string ?
Aerilaya Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Student General Artist
I've seen it in person several times, I don't live too far away from Seattle to go up and visit it from time to time (Portland resident here).

To me, that wall is more of a way for someone to prove that they've been there, looked upon the wall, and contributed to this strange and unique mess that people seem to love contributing to. I've placed at least five or six pieces of gum on there myself, mainly because I was a little kid and I thought it would be fun.

And it was fun. I liked contributing to something huge. It's kind of a like a giant, chewed up metaphor.
aiko137 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014
While in Seattle, it is art, so appreciate it :D
Savaliste Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014
hmm interesting topic.. personally I just see rude and disgusting people Shrug
unless this is a designated area for people to create this with their gum and not just
people littering/vandalizing public property cause they're too lazy to find a trash can.
CodyStuck Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Professional Photographer
I... wouldn't say it is art myself, but that is simply because I have always considered the gum wall to be merely an interesting byproduct of a social phenomena. The definition of art varies from person to person, there are no right or wrong answers. This just happens to not fit my criteria as it was not made with any intention of expression, it just occurred over time due to for the lack of a better term, a local tradition.
LoveoftheDark Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm sure paintings of Goatse are also considered art. Whatever.
CeaSanddorn Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
art is just art.
if you say:that is art, than it is art.
for one it is, for one it isn't.

and for that project:
sometimes art is ugly, but sometimes art shows the other problems in the world: maybe rubbish and dirt...
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