Among other things, sculpture and artist Jeremy Laffon has gained fame from the creation of elaborate chewing gum towers, meticulously stacked and balanced to create fantastical pieces of architecture. The Daily Mail wrote “With patience and painstaking precision French artist Jeremy Laffon built the complex geometrical structure, which stood at almost two metres and was nearly three metres long. The sticks were stacked, piled and assembled with care, but Laffon deliberately melted a few so that the towers would eventually fall down.
Laffon, from Marseilles, explained that he wanted the towers to begin disintegrating, despite all his months of hard work. ‘It represents a sculpture of frustration and that’s why I chose to knock it down by melting a few crucial pieces. After melting a few sticks, the work fell down and collapsed slowly.’
The 34-year-old said that it started as a way to interest his art class: ‘I was invited to teach a room full of art students and I had to find something that would occupy so many people. ‘I was inspired by the system of matchitecture, where thousands of matches are used to create a sculpture. I’ve always been fascinated by the construction of a house of cards and decided to create a sculpture with a material that hasn’t been used before.’
As a contemporary artist, Laffon was looking for an original material that would prove to be challenging to work with. He added: ‘I wanted to use something that was challenging and the characteristics of chewing gum seemed perfect. Chewing gum is unstable and I thought that it would be tough to create a huge sculpture out of this material.’
The scaffolding-like structures were made into fragile twisting towers and Laffon artist had to adapt his methods to make sure the sculpture could start off properly upright.He said: ‘I tried to complete the design by just using saliva, but that wasn’t strong enough, so I had to use glue to make it secure. Then, the sculpture was constructed much like a house of cards.’
The sculptures had a strong resemblance to a city skyline – but Laffon did not have a particular place in mind. He added: ‘Inevitably, the sculpture makes people think of a city because of the geometrical construction.’
Laffon bought the gum from a French supermarket, before Cadbury France stepped in to supply him with the rest.