Features Monday, May 18, 2015 - 05:30
Citizens across the globe have to deal with the menace of potholes on an almost daily basis. One US-based mosaic artist has been giving what many consider eye sores a makeover, quite literally.   Jim Bachor has been filling Chicago’s potholes with marble mosaics for two years now. Using marble and "Smalti", coloured glass from Italy, he replaces the city’s potholes with beautiful pieces of art. After making beautiful flower mosaics he has now moved to “Treats in the Streets Series” where he depicts ice creams in mosaics. “Potholes are universally despised no matter who you are – rich or poor, old or young - where as ice creams are universally loved. I like the contrast of juxtaposing something 'bad' with something 'good',” Bachor told The News Minute. The materials for each pothole cost around $75 to $100. Until last year Bachor, a former advertising professional, would foot these bills himself. But this year he undertook a public funding campaign called Kickstarter. The campaign proved successful and the funds collected will help him to go ahead with this year’s installations. Making these pothole mosaics however was not all that easy for Bachor. For the art to remain for some time, the artist needs good potholes and a temperature of above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. He said, “Ninety-five percent of the potholes out there won't work for what I need.” He claims that he has never faced an issue with either the authorities or the citizens. “People just think I’m a city worker spending too much time on a pothole.” His interests in ancient mosaic art stems from his interest in ancient history. It is the durability of the art form that “astounded” him. “Two-thousand-year-old mosaics look exactly like the artist intended today. I love the permanence of the art form. Potholes are a never ending problem and so I thought maybe I could try and fix the multiple, temporary pothole with this durable art form that I like so much,” he said. Bachor, who has been into ancient mosaics for 15 years now, wishes to continue his work on the potholes, but requires sponsors to fund these projects. He also sells original artworks, t-shirts and fine art prints on his website, bachor.com. Bengaluru could perhaps take a leaf from Chicago’s book. Also read: The average Bengalurean's guide to understanding the city's potholes   

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