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Out of Left Field

Tim McCarthy

Pat Riot is a non media-specific artist based in Los Angeles, CA and in 1986, while at Art School in Richmond, VA, an art teacher inspired him with the following words: 

I don’t care if you stick bubblegum to a car bumper.

At the time, he had been doing a lot of sports-themed art pieces so he decided to take his absurdity to task and create a “pop-art,” pointillism portrait of his favorite baseball player, Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets. After chewing thousands of pieces of colorful bubblegum, rolling them in little balls, and sticking the small dots onto a large sheet of white paper to resemble an impressionist, he got something like this...

The original didn't age that well, so 27 years later, he recreated a Daryl Strawberry 2.0 (above) and 4 more masterpieces of African American athletes that changed the game of baseball.

As one can imagine, the process of his creations are intense:

The inside of my mouth feels like a family of little, sugar birds has built a nest made of plastic grass and gummy-worm skin. My jaw-bone sounds like fresh rubber snapping when I chew solid foods, and the joints on my thumb and index finger of my right hand have been ground-down like old brake pads by the incessant pinching and rolling of ten thousand little gum balls.