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36 original paintings, art book, and unique Field Guide to the Gum Spotting experience by Michel Delgado, acclaimed Outsider artist.
36 original paintings, art book, and unique Field Guide to the Gum Spotting experience by Michel Delgado, acclaimed Outsider artist.
47 backers pledged $9,205 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Michel Delgado
Michel Delgado

The Gum of life

A few years ago, on a day I felt chewed up and spit out myself, I walked the streets of Chicago, with my head down, bowed, quietly saying a little prayer I sometimes mutter, asking for some weight to be lifted off my shoulders and taken away. I saw gum splats everywhere I stepped.

Someone had spit this gum from their mouth onto the sidewalk because it had lost its taste. People just open their mouths for a piece of gum and like any habit, they chew away to get to the other side of some void. And when they get to where they need to go, they don’t think twice about spitting it out, instead of swallowing it.

“You have to just hustle with gum, like you do with life.  Sometimes you get all into the gum of living and you just have to chew the hell out of something, whether you mean to or not. But it will drive you to where you need to be.”
                                          – Michel D…

Waiting in Line, original gum study painting
Waiting in Line, original gum study painting

But gum is not gone

It is still there for the rest of the world. A lot will get buried on top of it if time and weather have their say. Rain, sun, and dirt pound the hell out of it and if it’s not rescued it stays there waiting to be exposed.

I saw all this gum, like I thought about myself . . .

Trying to find a space on the ground and having no idea if it was welcome or just plain forgotten. I watched all this gum grabbing people by the bottom of their shoe and suddenly forcing them to hustle through it, or remove it altogether. I thought about all this gum that once was so alive because it was flexed on the palette, against the roof of the mouth, and by the tip of the tongue.

“When gum loses its ability to adapt it gets destroyed. Yet there it was on the sidewalk still ready to become something new and good, still ready to reveal something hopeful.” – Michel D…

Moving Forward, Original Gum Study
Moving Forward, Original Gum Study

Painting moves inside me like this

Painting moves inside me like this, in all its different forms, colors, hardness and experience. The more I chew it the more flavors I taste, and the more texture there is in the reality of my art.  It’s not good or bad and I know that people will observe it differently.  Some will take it home and join it to their purpose. Some will want to walk around it.

“This was a day of strong awareness for me and I went home with the intention of connecting all of it.  The idea for a series of gum inspired paintings was born. Even the titles made sense: Lost in a Swamp, Moving Forward, and Waiting in Line.”
                                            – Michel D…

The Chewed Up Spit-Out & Forgotten Campaign

Is about hustling with what you've got.  My goal is to raise $6,800 to paint a series of thirty-six original paintings for a gallery show and unique public event, art book, and Field Guide on the restorative practice of gum spotting and the twelve fragments that shape the way life always has a new welcome back in to the flow.

Smell these flowers, original gum study painting in progress
Smell these flowers, original gum study painting in progress

The paintings will be based on a process and technique I developed a few years ago when I first explored the idea for paintings based on the sidewalk gum splats I saw all around me on an early morning walk.  The first studies were all mixed media on watercolor paper, 14” x 21”.  This technique is highly repeatable and with some finer materials I will be able to execute them in a larger and more diverse range.  As you can see from the images of the gum studies this can be done and they look fantastic.

Lost in a Swamp, original gum study painting
Lost in a Swamp, original gum study painting


My plan is to return to complete this entire series and exhibit them in an environment that celebrates the welcoming spirit of renewal and reuse in art and life.

To make it happen I need your help.  In return, I am creating many ways for you to be thanked and rewarded, including ownership of the original paintings, limited printed lithograph editions, an art book, a unique Field Guide on the gum spotting experience, and a few other amazing gifts. You can read more about this campaign by visiting www.gumspottingexperience.com which has additional detail on the art book, field guide, my life and work, and the developing ways of sharing, incorporating and applying the gum spotting experience to existing community and educational outreach initiatives. 

Narrow Tunnel, original gum study painting
Narrow Tunnel, original gum study painting

Thirty-six Original paintings in three groups of 12

The paintings, the art, are the most important reason for any of this.  The story of gum and the experience of gum spotting it did not drive the paintings.  The imagination for the art came first and it was later that these other very interesting experiences and narratives formed.  I work with visions, use raw materials, and paint on hard and reusable surfaces,. I work in a style I taught myself. It facilitates my need to paint and it has allowed me to develop a unique kind of depth to my art as well as an innovative and evolving technique.  Completing the thirty-six paintings is the moon landing, so to speak, the rest is talk about its trajectory and progress.  It does not make news unless I land on the moon.

The thirty-six paintings will be done in three different formats: large, medium and small. Each particular format of 12 is a series when viewed together.

Running in Circles, original gum study painting
Running in Circles, original gum study painting

The largest format, 23” x 22”, makes use of multiple gum splats in each of the paintings.  In the largest format paintings we travel all around the world and none of us speak the same language or have the same experience, but we've all put this gum in our mouth and it gets mixed into everyone’s DNA.  All the emotion mixed in with chewing gum imprints into each of us.  It just lays there. 

And because of this, it’s a circus for the gum. None of this gum knows where it came from, and there is a big dialogue of how they got here, who they are.  It’s a universal gathering and all this gum is saying “we’re all fucked here” – we can’t move ourselves, we didn't choose this place, and we can’t just act like we've been completely thrown out. You got to recycle yourself back into this life.

Smell these Flowers, final original gum study painting
Smell these Flowers, final original gum study painting


The medium format, 22” x 18”
, has less gum splats worked into the painting, maybe two, maybe a piece more, and they are more intimate.  They know each other and there is interaction.  It’s a more controlled circle, an environment of people moving together - a circle of being.

The smallest format, 20” x 14”, is singular and most like the images of the original gum study paintings I first did.

All thirty-six of these paintings can be owned by supporting this campaign at the $1,000, $750, or $500 donation level, respectively.  They can come to you signed and framed under glass, ready to hang. My goal is just to raise the money to complete all thirty-six paintings. Look at the Donation Levels to see the exact level of support that ensures you one of the originals in the particular format you want, including having it come framed under glass.

A new, innovative technique

After much trial and error I developed a unique method and technique for capturing and revealing the discarded gum splats I saw on the streets of the many cities I travel to yearly. The process has a wonderful simplicity and power to it. 

1. I take photographs of gum splats;  

2. I transfer the image onto paper vellum;

3. I burn a silk screen with the paper vellum;

4. I hand print the screen on Archer watercolor paper, using black ink;

5. I paint into and around the black image, never using any other black anywhere in the painting but that which is the gum impression itself.

Why a Field Guide and Art Book to the Gum Spotting Experience?

The Field Guide to the Gum Spotting Experience is another way for me to invite people into my world and show them what really connects our lives with purpose. No matter how much we feel we have been forgotten there is always a new welcome waiting to recycle us back home.  The field guide should help start others on the same wonderful journey that helped bring a new and inspiring awareness to me.  And it will be fun, I promise - learning to hustle your own way through living with gum, being chewed up, getting spit out, and being even more beautiful and magnificent because of it. 

My idea for the actual filed guide is that it too will have many purposes and possible ways to be used, including: as a work of art that can be framed in its unfolded form and hung on the wall as a unique, hand signed and numbered artist print; tucked into the glove compartment of your car; leaned up and placed among your precious things and books; folded and carried around in your inside pocket, meant to travel, easily passed on to someone else you love, or left at an art gallery to help them remember the narrative power of art. 

The Art Book will be 36 plus pages with large full scale images of all the paintings.

The Sublime number Twelve

The number 12 is sublime and I chose to dance with it as a partner for the gum spotting experience.  The actual field guide will be a small portable work of art with 12 defining paintings revealing the 12 defining splats, fragments and directions of the gum spotting experience.  In mathematics 12 is a number made up of perfect number divisors.  There are 12 petals in the Heart Chakra. The human body has 12 cranial nerves.  There is twelve inches in a foot, twelve hours in each half of the day, and 12 months in a year.  The basic units of time, 60 seconds, 60 minutes and 24 hours can all perfectly divide by twelve.  You can read  “Riffs on the number 12” on the www.gumspottingexperience.com website.

Each of the 12 gum paintings selected for the field guide function on three levels: emotional content of the state of this kind of gum; the centeredness it requires if we are to live with it in our being; and the ways we try to chew it to make it go away, increase its pleasure and why it gets destroyed and spit out.  It’s a field guide that traces how we go from responding to active emotions and ideas, and finally trying to understand where it comes from or will take us. It keeps you aware and ready to respond effectively and it helps you tune in with the full spectrum of reality.  Each one of the twelve fragments encompasses every awakened element of yourself and if you’re not awake, if you’re not responding, well then, you’re not alive.  

The twelve splats in the field guide have remarkable life and presence and I have named and defined them so you can keep them with you as you begin to find your own set of markers and reminders. You can take these twelve if you like. Or rename and reclaim them as you see fit by putting your own notes directly into the open folds of the field guide.

The Gum Spotting Experience field guide is the science of awareness, and like gum, it will endure, evolve, and grab a hold of someone with humor and love, travelling to all the corners of the globe.

You can also bring your students or other educational and community groups into the unlimited possibilities of gum spotting.  

Where the Power Lives, original gum study painting
Where the Power Lives, original gum study painting

The www.gumspottingexperience.com website is a place where anyone can upload and share their unique discoveries, and expand the conversation beyond what I could ever imagine.  I am excited and prepared to work with anyone or any organization that will want my help, involvement or permission to put this into active practice.

To read more about the Opportunities for The Gum Spotting Experience in your community or classroom go visit www.gumspottingexperience.com.  

A gum inspired gallery show, event and restorative experience 

I plan on all of this coming to completion in an exhibition and unique gallery experience which I will make into a restorative event - sweet enough to accommodate many voices. The conversation about gum is truly expansive and this show will exploit the many different maps that others use to navigate this restorative ingredient.

I realized that like the gum itself a gallery show could be alive in many ways if I extended its flexibility to all kinds of people and advocates. In business, people measure such attributes by its remarkability, and the money we raise together in this Chewed Up & Spit Out campaign will help ignite the event into a creative invitation and showcase for many like-minded collaborators.

Can't Keep Up, original gum study painting in progress
Can't Keep Up, original gum study painting in progress

Upon Completion of this Campaign

We will have sent a message across the world and maybe even started a movement.  I will have made thirty-six new paintings the way they deserved to be created.  I will show them at a gum spotting experience inspired gallery show.  I will have created and passed on The Gum Spotting Experience and the 12 fragments to people everywhere. I will be grateful to everyone who had faith in me and helped support me.

Dark Firecracker, original gum study painting in progress
Dark Firecracker, original gum study painting in progress


             Sponsor Gifts 
& Rewards

How I Can Thank You For Your Support 

The 36 original paintings:

The thirty-six paintings will be done in three different formats: large, medium and small.  Each particular format of 12 is a series when viewed together. 

The largest format, 23” x 22”, makes use of multiple gum splats in each of the paintings.  

From the Pink Place, original gum study painting
From the Pink Place, original gum study painting

The medium format, 22” x 18”, has less gum splats worked into the painting, maybe two, maybe a piece more, and they are more intimate.

Can't Keep Up, original gum study painting in progress
Can't Keep Up, original gum study painting in progress

The smallest format, 20” x 14”, is singular and most like the images of the original gum study paintings I first did.

Always Number One, original gum study painting
Always Number One, original gum study painting

The 36 limited edition artist prints:

Each of the 36 original paintings will be made into a limited edition print, similar in format to the actual sizes of the three different series of 12 paintings: large format, 23” x 22”; medium format, 22” x 18”; and small format, 20” x 14”.  They will be on watercolor paper and depending on your level of support you can get a hand-signed and numbered edition sent to you flat or request it arrived framed by the artist under glass.  You will also be able to get an unsigned, unnumbered edition of one of the originals as well.  Look at the Donation Levels to see the exact level of support that ensures you one of the limited edition prints, in the particular format you want, and the related options for signed and numbered, framed, or otherwise.

Dark Firecracker, final original gum study painting
Dark Firecracker, final original gum study painting

The Gum Spotting Experience Field Guides:

Each field guide will be designed and printed onto a 8.5” x 17” heavy stock of paper with a matte finish, printed on both sides, then folded into a uniquely non-traditional format.  It will open into many sides and pages, revealing and re-revealing itself in your hands, and opening up to a full work of art on either side which can be framed under glass.  It will look fantastic framed under glass, stamped, hand signed and embossed by me, and numbered in a limited edition of 250.  Depending on the level of support you are able to give me for this campaign The Gum Spotting Experience field guide can be delivered to you in a number of ways. 

Look at the Donation levels to see the exact level of support that ensures you one of the signed, numbered, flat, framed, or folded options that the field guides come in. 

T-Shirts:

There will be a few different styles, colors, and all in various sizes.  You get to choose.  Each shirt is made using both silk screen and hand painting.  All prints are 100% permanent.  Tees are all heavy cotton and can be washed in hot or cold water and won’t run or fade.

 

Instaprints:

Instaprint - turns a gum painting into a mounted print on premium foam core, includes hardware for easy installation, signed and dated by artist on the back. Instaprints come in two sizes, 6” x 6” or 8” x 8”.

Instaprint, 8" x 8"
Instaprint, 8" x 8"

Postcards:

There will be one official 6” x 9” postcard for The Gum Spotting Experience.  It will be designed and signed by the artist. A $10 donation of support ensures you one of these postcards.


Who is Michel Delgado? My Story

"I was born in Senegal, on the west coast of Africa in a small town outside the capital of Dakar. I made my way to Paris to paint and apprentice as a printer, and then crossed the ocean to Key West where I have lived, painted and raised my daughter over the past two decades." 
                                             - Michel D...

Michel Delgado is considered one of the best contemporary Brut, Naïve painters of his generation.  His work is completely free from optical mannerisms, filled with intense and basic colors, crisply painted shapes, and meticulous attention to detail.  He has been compared to other Outsiders like Henri Rousseau, Alfred Wallis, Edward Hicks and Jean Dubuffet.

The first thing that hits one when a body of Delgado’s work is shown together is the enormous fecundity of his image making. He cannot seem to avoid producing image after image in what seems a compulsive need to spew his talent out in every direction.  Taken individually each work is fresh and compelling. Taken in large doses, his ability to create ever new variations is overwhelming. If quantity is as important as quality in art, then Michel Delgado must be regarded as a serious contender in the confusing mise en scene of 'now art,' spilling out a panoply of images with the an energy that literally flows off the canvas to permeate our hearts and minds.

“I bring my art to people all across the country, travelling by van, staying with friends in different cities, showing in galleries, visiting collectors and walking the streets of places I've never been.  This life has become a part of what I create."  
                                        - Michel D… 

Michel Delgado’s paintings convey memory, time and history, or what he calls the “very ground we walk on.” Unabashed and daring, bold and bright, Delgado’s concern about the human condition and his compassion for his fellow being is apparent in all he paints.  Tragedy, abuse, the mundane moments of everyday being, the happiness we know, and the fears we keep at bay, the stories of life.  As a person Delgado rejects being understood in only one facet of being and as a painter.  He intentionally provides us with a variety of styles and mediums so we cannot settle on one identity for him.  For Delgado, making viewers search for the artist also makes them search for meaning.  

“As a true Outsider I find my tools and resources around me, often among the things others have either discarded or forgotten.  There is life to be restored, explored and re-made in these fragments and I connect well to the stories inside them that still remain alive.” 
                                            – Michel D

Michel Delgado is collected world-wide, has received many honors and awards for his art, had many significant solo shows and museum exhibitions, and is part of numerous important private and public collections worldwide.

You can read more about Michel Delgado's work and life at www.gumspottingexperience.com

Can't Keep Up, final original gum study painting
Can't Keep Up, final original gum study painting

Please talk it up

I am looking for a corporate sponsor if you have any connections or ideas please let them know about this or send me an email at michel@gumspottingexperience.com

Contact me

Contact me through Kickstarter.  Or email me at michel@gumspottingexperience.com

Thank you.

 

Risks and challenges

RISKS & CHALLENGES
Most of the risks for this project have been contained and secured by the artist's previous development of the technique and application during the painting of the original Gum Studies. The artist has collaborative support from a book publisher and printer, a fine art printer, and is fully accomplished as a graphics and t-shirt designer and small business vendor. In addition, he has a full studio and working shop with all the tools and digital accessories he needs to fulfill the various segments of this campaign. Delgado is well respected by his collectors and is the consummate professional where it concerns his art and commercial transactions.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    6” x 9” official postcard, color both sides, signed by the artist. See image in project narrative.

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    6” x 6” Instaprint - turns a gum painting into a mounted print on premium foam core. Includes picture hanging hardware for easy installation, signed and dated by artist on the back. See image in project narrative.

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    8” x 8” Instaprint - turns a gum painting into a mounted print on premium foam core. Includes picture hanging hardware for easy installation, signed and dated by artist on the back. See image in project narrative.

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    T-shirt with official logo and image on front and back. 100% cotton, silk-screen print, all sizes, 2-3 color choices. See image in project narrative.

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    Field Guide to the Gum Spotting Experience, printed pocket size pamphlet with images and text, 17" x 8.5", sent in four fold format or 3.6” x 8.5” panels, color both sides. Unsigned. See image in project narrative.

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    Field Guide to the Gum Spotting Experience, printed pocket size pamphlet with images and text, 17" x 8.5", sent in four fold format or 3.6” x 8.5” panels, color both sides. Signed and dated by the artist, with edition #. Also includes a postcard. See image in project narrative.

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    Field Guide to the Gum Spotting Experience, printed pocket size pamphlet with images and text, 17” x 8.5” flat, full color both sides, signed and dated by the artist, with edition #, and sent flat for framing as an art work. Also includes a signed postcard. See image in project narrative.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Gorgeous art book on Michel Delgado, his Gum Series paintings and Field Guide instructions all in one book. 8.5" x 11", softcover, 36 plus pages, full color plates, signed and dated by the artist, with edition # inside. The book will be personally inscribed by the artist after he makes contact with you by phone or email. Also includes one other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Limited edition print of one of the small sized original paintings, 14" x 20" on watercolor paper, signed and numbered by the artist. You choose which of the 12 small size paintings you want. Also includes a signed Field Guide and one other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below. See painting images in project narrative.

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    Limited edition print of one of the medium sized original paintings, 18" x 22" on watercolor paper, signed and numbered by the artist. You choose which of the 12 medium size paintings you want. Also includes a signed Field Guide and one other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below. See painting images in project narrative.

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    Limited edition print of one of the large sized original paintings, 22" x 23" on watercolor paper, signed and numbered by the artist. You choose which of the 12 large size paintings you want. Also includes a signed Field Guide and one other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below. See painting images in project narrative.

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    One of the 12 original small sized painting on archer watercolor paper, 14" x 20". Also includes an art book, a signed Field Guide and any other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below. Order of choice determined by support payment date. See painting images in project narrative.

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    One of the 12 original medium sized painting on archer watercolor paper, 18” x 22”. Also includes an art book, a signed Field Guide and one other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below. Order of choice determined by support payment date. See painting images in project narrative.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    One of the 12 original large sized painting on archer watercolor paper., 22” x 23”. Also includes an art book, a signed Field Guide and one other gift item of your choosing from the $30 level or below. Order of choice determined by support payment date. See painting images in project narrative.

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Funding period

- (57 days)