Ben Wilson

England, 1961

Ben Wilson originally made his name as a sculptor of wood, constructing figures from fallen branches in the woods of North London. He built large sculptural constructions that people could enter, including an outdoor wooden “chapel” at the American Visionary Art Museum and at museums in Finland and Australia. Wilson has always had a desire to leave his imprint on local surroundings and started to paint trees and flowers on advertising billboards. However, this was seen as vandalism by the police who kept on arresting him. Ben Wilson discovered that painting on chewing gum on the sidewalk was not defacing anyone else’s property and he could create without fear of arrest (although he was banned from Trafalgar Square). In some areas of north London, the sidewalk shimmers with scores of tiny paintings and he has recently been painting his miniatures on the Millennium Bridge in London to the refrain of his motto: “Creative thinking in your immediate environment”.

Source: Centro de Arte Oliva