It’s all gone to (flower) pot: Street artist transforms Chicago’s potholes into amazing flower mosaics
A street artist has found a clever way to cover up Chicago’s unsightly pot holes – by transforming them into amazing flower mosaics.
Everyone knows pot holes are an eyesore, but guerrilla artist Jim Bachor, 50, decided to do something about it.
Disguised as a utility worker, the advert designer of 25 years, started filling them with beautiful flower mosaics in a bid to rid Chicago’s streets of the public nuisance for good.
Wearing a hi-vis jacket and carrying a set of tools and traffic cones, the crafty artist did his first few pothole installations at night in a ploy to protect his anonymity.
But after pictures of his horticultural handy work took the internet by storm, John now creates his artwork in plain sight.
John, from Chicago, Illinois, USA, said: “It’s really about contrasts; no one, I mean no one likes potholes or considers them pretty in any sense of the word.
“Likewise, I would think almost everyone would consider a flower beautiful in some sense.
“Installing a nicely rendered mosaic of a flower in an otherwise unsightly pockmark in the road I hope would put a little smile on someone’s face.
“While it helps with the problem in the tiniest of ways, the project really is about beautifying the city a little and adding a bit of unexpected cheer to an unsuspecting person’s day.”
John began creating mosaics after he became fascinated with ancient art.
Using coloured marble and glass – materials which can be preserved for thousands of years – Jim creates the flower mosaics at his home, in Chicago, Illinois.
He glues the marble and glass to a cheesecloth before filling the pothole with wet concrete on site and setting the art into the cavity.
Hot water is then poured over the artwork to loosen off the cheesecloth, leaving the art in the concrete with only a couple of cones to protect it from oncoming traffic while it dries.
But John, who says people are now starting to recognise him in public, always returns to the scene of the craft eight hours after the installation to photograph the final product.
He said: “I really don’t think they mind my artwork.
“Potholes, in my opinion, are really an unsolvable problem.
“Short of repaving every street in the city in concrete – which is unlikely – the pothole issue will never end but will keep plenty of people employed fixing them – at least temporarily.
“My work makes their job ever so slightly easier.
“And to be honest, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.
“As people get familiar with my work, I’m starting to get recognised as I do an installation.
“I’ve even had a guy drop off a coffee and Danish for me one morning when I was finishing up an installation.
“As I mentioned previously – everyone hates potholes – so anything that helps out with a universal problem and makes people crack a smile at the same time will be met with positive reactions.”
Earlier this year, The Chicago Tribune reported Chicago’s city council had received triple the number of pothole complaints compared with the previous two winters.
From December 1 2013 through to March 9 2014, the council received 47,227 pot hole complaints, in comparison to the 15,641 (2011-12) and the 21,482 (2010-11) reported the previous two years.