The perfect pothole might not exist for many people — but for mosaic artist Jim Bachor, it’s one with a nice oval shape. Bachor began filling those potholes a little more than a year ago, after one in front of his house became a hassle.
Bachor doesn’t just fill them with cement, though. He’s turned pothole-filling into a public art project — one with a sense of humor. He fills them with mosaics.
“I just think it’s fun to add that little bit of spark into (an) issue that people moan about,” says the Chicago resident, whose work also hangs in galleries. He was first drawn to the ancient art form because of its ability to last.
With orange cones and vests displaying his last name, Bachor and his helpers look official enough to shut down a street section to work on filling a pothole.
Bachor uses the Chicago city flag design in his pothole art. Some versions hold phone numbers to local auto repair shops, while others simply read “POTHOLE.” His most recent installment north of downtown Chicago — “(hash)21914” — pokes fun at the huge number of potholes that exist in the city.
Public art that also helps the city fulfill one of its basic duties. How long until he is shut down for not filling potholes to standards or because it leaves the city liable?
It would be interesting to test the durability of mosaics in potholes. Given their construction with numerous small pieces, wouldn’t they be particularly susceptible to pressure, water, and freezing? I suspect there are much better ways to address potholes but they may not look as good or have any moxie.