Gumballin' exposition by Streetart Frankey, Amsterdam

Gumballin’ by Streetart Frankey

“The most awesome food product ever made” is how the Amsterdam artist Streetart Frankey describes gumballs, the protagonist of his exposition on the Wester­gas­terrein (Western Gas Terrain). It ran from 24 to 27 June 2021 inside the former Gashouder (Gas holder). It is his ode to chewing gum, not a real food, just to be chewed on and then discarded, useless but a lot of fun, as all children will agree.

Streetart Frankey at his Gumballin' exposition, Amsterdam

Streetart Frankey at his Gumballin’ exposition in the Gashouder, Wester­gas­terrein (June 2021).

The exposition — originally meant for a gallery in Tokyo, Japan — had been canceled twice because of corona measures and then the gallery owner went bankrupt. The Wester­gas­terrein offered him a space for the exposition, where it was also post­poned three times. You enter the exposition over a red carpet, which turns out to be a muleta (red cape) held by a bullfighter at the other end.

Frankey, an Amsterdam icon

Frank de Ruwe (his real name) has been placing small humorous art objects throughout Amsterdam since 1998, his mission is to make people smile and to positively enhance the Amsterdam streets. He studied Industrial Design at the Delft Technical University and his day job is director and employee of a design collective called Natwerk, where he handles advertisement design.

Throughout Amsterdam you can find (if you look close enough) many of his works. It doesn’t seem to bother him that many times his works are either stolen or removed from the buildings and bridges. A more permanent work is a small 23.6 inch (60 cm) high bronze statue of much loved mayor Eberhard van der Laan (mayor of Amsterdam from 2010 until his death in 2017), sitting smiling on top of the entrance gate at Paradiso on the Weteringschans. Also his work “Missing numbers” from 2013 in the Westerstraat is still there.

Frankey’s website:

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