Jason Kronenwald: A Fresh Pack of Gum Blondes
Jason Kronenwald, an MFA graduate from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, made one of his first bubblegum artworks called Gum Blondes in 1996. In the last decade he has flirted extensively with these blondes, refining his craft and technique to such remarkable degree that the notion these portraits are made from bubblegum seems preposterous. But gum they are.
Comprised solely of chewed gum (all colors are inherent to the gum and mixed in the mouth), every portrait is manipulated onto a plywood surface, and sealed with an epoxy resin for protection and preservation.
In the past several years alone, our exploitive media has given Jason plenty of celebrity fodder to work with. With portraits of Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, Paris Hilton, and Lindsey Lohan already part of the ongoing series, one has to wonder how far he can take the project.
Well, why not delve into the political arena? Just last week, Jason opened his second solo exhibition, "A Fresh Pack of Gum Blondes," at LE Gallery in Toronto.
The new show includes such icons as Hillary Clinton and Princess Diana, along with pop figures Madonna and the eternally doe-eyed Twiggy. (Click images for detail.)
By masticating gum (he has a team of chewers) into a pliable medium for expression, Kronenwald has found the perfect confluence of materials—low-brow candy and high-brow art—to speak to our saccharine era.