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Everything's Bubble Gum at Maurizio Savini’s New Exhibit

Maurizio Savini gives a new meaning to "bubble gum Pop."
Peter Paul, 2008, Chewing Gum, 220x130x100 cm, $50,000, Private Collection, Lisbona, Portugal. Images courtesy Emmanuel Fremin Gallery

Two assistants soften the pounds of pink, stretchy bubble gum Italian sculptor Maurizio Savini fashions into elephants, bison, and gravity-defying businessmen, but—lucky for them—they don't have to chew it. In Savini's opinion, bubble gum, "is more versatile material compared to those used by the 'traditional' arts, such as painting," says one of his assistants, Academia di Belle Arti student Riikka Vainio. Her job involves melting bricks of raw gum into malleable sheets (though in the past, the assistant unwrapped and melted hundreds of individual sticks) using a hair dryer-like tool called an industrial phon, which Savini carves with a razor-sharp scalpel into bright pink commentaries on consumerism.


"Our life is characterized by a constant dialogue between our self and 'consumption.' Consumption as biological waste, of ourselves and others, but also the trivial destruction of products," Savini explains. Originally, his sculptures would consume themselves, as the gum's sugar degraded the plaster frames beneath. Now, he preserves the sculptures with a scientifically-researched mixture of antibiotics and formaldehyde, a move in the opposite direction of gum artists like Dan Colen, who rejoice in the medium's lack of structure (and use already-been-chewed stuff). He continues, "By gaining awareness of the inevitability of this degenerative process, I find the justification of death."

I Like America, 2007, 225x300x 150 cm, chewing gum, fiberglass, $60.000, Private Collection, Brescia, Italy

elefante, 2015, fiberglass chewing gum, wood, 43x39 x36 cm, $6000

Breakfast, 2015, fiberglass, chewing gum, plexiglass ,wood, 43x39x16 cm, $6000

Turtle, 2015, fiberglass chewing gum, wood, 43x39x22 cm, $6000

Maurizio Savini will be displaying a series of small sculptures at Art Southamption, July 9-13, 2015, represented by Emmanuel Fremin Gallery. Check out more of his work on the gallery website.


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