It is always pleasing to view art that does more than demonstrate how clever the artist is, even more so when the art is functional, anonymous and intended only to bring beauty and pleasure to the viewer, even if only in passing.
That is why the art of Jim Bachor is so unique. Not for him artworks that hang on the walls of galleries, corporate boardrooms or private dwellings. His exist to be driven over by cars, walked over by people and animals, and passed over by carts and bicycles, in the process benefiting those same passersby.
Bachor fills in potholes with mosaics.
From an item in The Guardian at:
Inspired to make mosiacs after a trip to Italy in the late 90s, Bachor has become “the pothole guy”, decorating holes in streets with colourful designs ranging from chickens to Aretha Franklin’s face.
He made his first pothole mosaic in 2013, just outside his home in Chicago. “The potholes in our street were particularly bad,” he says. “I put two and two together. I had this unsolvable problem outside of our house, and 100 yards away in my studio I have this passion for an art form that is so durable.”
Wearing a high-vis jacket and armed with traffic cones, Bachor has so far created 79 installations around the world including in New York and Helsinki. He creates the mosaics in his studio, fixing the artwork on a cheesecloth. Bachor then prepares the concrete on site and carefully sets the mosaic in the road. It takes about two hours, and he’s back the next day when the concrete is set to scrub off the excess.
He doesn’t know the legalities of filling in potholes without permission, and his New York installations were removed by the city’s transport department.
“There was one time on south side of Chicago. This cop gets out and walks up to me and says, ‘Are you that pothole guy?’ “‘Yeah,’ I said. “He goes, ‘That is so fucking cool.’”
Bachor’s website is at:
The gallery of pothole installations may be viewed on his website at:
Jim Bachor at work
Bachor says, unlike his fine art, he keeps the mosaics pretty simple: “The pothole stuff, I can’t spend a tremendous amount of time on, because I can’t sell it, ‘cause it’s stuck in the ground. So I try to keep ‘em to, maybe, eight hours, ten tops.”
A glass and marble mosaic about a half-block from Trump Tower. The word “liar” is over the Russian flag outlined in gold.