Friday, March 31, 2006

Gummi Bear Sculpture by YaYa Chou - archival or not?

The Gummi Bear Rug is featured in this Thursday LA City Beat with a reminder to head over here & check it out! \

It has been interesting representing this work - it just makes people so happy!

Interestingly enough, the First Thing that people ask is:
"Are the Gummi Bears treated with anything?"
There seems to be a global concern that the pieces will become victim to hungry ants, mice or roaches, or melt somehow. Basic vermin and, uh - flooding or fire? In which case, no art would be safe.
There are many many materials used in art that are not exactly archival or will last longer than a life time or a generation or 2.
Silk, cotton, wax, plant fibers, egg tempera, dirt, anything using pot glue such as Elmer's, plant fiber papers, even linseed oil are all susceptible to deterioration due to elements or vermin.
Acid free is good. But it still doesn't make it safe from mold. Some human care needs to be considered with art purchases as well.
With all art, do not expose to heat, direct sunlight, humidity, moisture. (except environmental art made for the outside or for degeneration as a concept, of course - for this discussion I am referring to paintings & sculpture in general).

I can understand the curiosity....and the concern.
Collectors want to know that their investment will be safe on many levels.

Now, for all those concerned, the artist has successfully done a materials experiment with Gummi Bears that are the same age as the ones used in the chandelier.
About 1.5 year old, & have since become hardened from being out of the package.
Collectors will feel assured that a matte lacquer spray has been applied to the experimental gummis, with wonderful results.
Vermin shall not nibble on the gummis.

Further, newer gummis cannot be sprayed. This resulted in the spray peeling off of the still soft gummi surface. But if a newer piece is purchased you can have it treated at the appropriate time.

Now that's delicious!

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