“Chew on This”, is an examination of my mind at work while mediating or just rambling on about a variety of contemporary issues i.e. climate change, war, money, space exploration, my life in NYC, desires, etc. The daily barrage of life and news permeate my mind with an overload of information.  Humans are very comfortable with external means of stress-relieving devices. People smoke, eat snacks, binge watch online streaming or scroll social media. I chew gum.  The process of gum chewing allows my mind to “free-flow think”.  I noticed that when I was finished chewing my gum that the discarded gum had a unique shape.  The shape was related to the amount of stress induced by the subject my mind was thinking about i.e: thinking about the war in the Ukraine produced a gum with more bite marks.  Other subjects had a smoother or more relaxed shape of gum. Over a period of months, I collected the chewed gum pieces and set them aside too dry.

I began to photograph the chewed gum but made an effort not to photograph the pieces of gum as a catalog presentation.  I wanted to create a unique lighting and color balance for each piece of gum.  I did not want to have any preconceived vision of what the final results would look like.  Each piece of gum was suspended in front of a background that varied from crumbled paper to sheets of aluminum foil.   Lighting was created using one stationary small lamp and a handheld flashlight with color gels on the front of the lighting sources.  Long time exposures allowed me to use a very small focal aperture to capture detail on a small object.  The flashlight was also in motion as the exposure was being taken to allow the light to be recorded in a total unknowable result.  Every shot is a one- time, individual capture of a chewed piece(s) of gum.
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