Brush Well: The Toothpaste Paintings Of Cristiam Ramos

The best thing about painting in toothpaste is that no matter how old Mexican artist Cristiam Ramos’ paintings get, they’ll always be in mint condition.

If the sight of Cristiam Ramos‘ paintings doesn’t make you go Gaga, learning the Mexican artist creates these portraits using ordinary, store-bought toothpaste surely will! Ramos just has to snicker – or at least, smile inwardly – knowing the medium he spreads on canvas with a flurry of brushstrokes will likely be cleaning his teeth later on in the day.

Though Ramos has dabbled in other media including sweet candy and nail polish, he prefers to use toothpaste for a certain type of subject: the entertainers and celebrities we love so (or too) much. “I wanted to do the works in toothpaste as this is associated with your best smile and these artists who perform in their field have left us a deep smile and a moment of happiness,” explained the 34-year-old Ramos to

Being a toothpaste artist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, however. Each portrait requires up to 200 hours of meticulous brushwork and as many as 30 tubes of toothpaste, for one thing. “It is very difficult to make these as the toothpaste becomes very sticky and dries quickly,” adds Ramons. “The smell can also be overwhelming, which was challenging during the long days of up to 10 hours painting.” Indeed, there’s a point where “minty fresh” becomes no longer fresh but suffocating instead.

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