American artists appear in 40% of art collections worldwide. Glass mosaics have been in use for ages. In fact, this work of art dates back more than 300 years before the birth of Christ. Few people would ever expect such a traditional piece of art to appear in the middle of the road.
But that’s exactly what Chicago artist, Jim Bachor, has done. He first became intrigued by the long lifespan and durability of mosaics after visiting Pompeii, which featured these works of art from more than 2,000 years ago. After learning how to create beautiful Mosaics from Italy, has used this superpower to fill potholes since 2013.
Bachor has created a variety of mosaics, many of which feature comforting images like cats, foods, and flowers. He claims that the goal of his work is to put a smile on the faces of people passing by, a stark contrast to facing an ugly pothole in the road.
“I just think it’s fun to think somebody walking on the street and then just by chance noticing there’s something in the street that shouldn’t be there, a different color, and then realizing the pothole’s been fixed, which is good, but then realizing it’s a piece of art which is better,” Bachor explains.
Even though the first machine tools were the bow drill and bow lathe, all Bachor needs to create a beautiful piece of art is a small hammer, glass, marble, cement, and cheesecloth. It’s a long process but Bachor claims to enjoy the hard work.
Unfortunately, Bachor can’t fill all the potholes in Chicago. In an interview with WGN9, he claims that the perfect pothole for his work is 18 inches by 24 inches, located at the side of the road, and falls about three inches deep.
He doesn’t know whether his work is legal or not, but he has noted that the police let him perform his art while passerby just offer a quizzical glance before moving on. Now that his art has become more popular, however, he’ll get compliments as he crafts junk food or the occasional ice cream cone out of marble and glass.
“It hopefully carries along a little bit of my personality, you know the dry humor of it or whatever the absurdity of it. You know it’s kind of like the ridiculousness of personality,” he said.
Bachor has even started an Instagram to display his street art and captions the snapshots with the names of his pieces. To follow Bachor — and his beautiful work — on Instagram, you can find him under the username @jimbachor.
Bachor closed his interview by mentioning how his name might not live on, but his work will last for years to come.
“Maybe the great, great, great grandkids are not gonna know who I am at all. But maybe they’ll know about this relative that had this kooky sense of humor.”