Doug Coupland welcomes the public to cover his face with chewing gum
In this interactive artwork by Artist Doug Coupland, viewers are welcomed to put their chewing gum on an outdoor sculpture of a head. Coupland created a seven foot black resin and polyester sculpture of his own head and exhibited it on Howe Street outside the Vancouver Art Gallery from the end of May to September 1st. Over 4 months, viewers walking by stuck their sticky chewing gum on the statue, resulting in a colorfully dotted work of art in the end (humorously titled Gumhead) . His face was plastered to the point where the features were not recognizable. A couple of chewing gum wrappers were also stuck onto the statue along with the gum. Coupland remarks in a survey conducted by Metro, : “I’ve been everywhere and I’ve never seen people interact so intimately and for such a long time as they do with Gumhead. And people who drive past it every day like to monitor its progress. It’s eight pieces in one: a self-portrait, a still life, a landscape, social sculpture, performance art, conceptual art and time-based art. And it wants to be your friend.”
He explains, “At first the added gum looked like jewels against the black. And then the Excel chewing gum van parked beside it during the Jazz Festival and took the whole head to the next level. And then we had a heat wave and the gum started to weep. And now it has a 24-hours cloud of bees and wasps around it. It’s a dream.” Learn more about Coupland and his work here.