It’s rare to get a street artist who makes something both beautiful and functional.
But Jim Bachor makes beautiful mosaic art pieces that he uses to fill the potholes that are the scourge of Chicago drivers.
While most of the cool kid street artists are across the pond, Chicago has its own lineup of unique street artists to boast. Shepard Fairey (Obama poster, ‘OBEY’), though not Chicago-based, has left his mark all over the city. We have a satirical version of the literally infamous Banksy named “Hanksy.” And Bachor is our very own ‘Invader,’ who also uses tile mosaic artwork to make space invader 8-bit art pieces all over the world.
Of course, Bachor isn’t quite as secretive as Banksy or Invader. He’s been hired to do some larger, public displays that have less of an installed-in-the-secrecy-of-the-night vibe to them, everywhere from Chicago to Bloomington, Indiana.
But his literal street art is what makes his story special. And he has a pretty cool inspiration behind what he does, too.
“These colorful pieces of stone or glass set in mortar were the photographs of empires long past. Marble and glass do not fade.”
His combined love of history and art led him to volunteer to do an archaeological dig in Pompeii, and now he combines modern images like Mr. T on a cereal box (epic) with an ancient method of expressing those images.
And, put eloquently, it’s pretty baller.
While Bachor’s installations exist forever, like mosaics of the past that must be chipped away from under decades of dirt – they don’t stay observable. On his site, there’s a gallery listing the locations of his art pieces, some of which are captioned “now covered” or “almost gone.”
There’s something beautiful about seeing the seeds of future archaeological excavations being planted, like watching man-made fossils in progress.
Personally? I wish he did more of these. If the pothole-riddled streets were paved with mosaics and ceramic tiles, the city would be a less angry place to drive.
Get on it, Jim.
If you want to see any of his pieces (while you still can), here’s a map of where you can find them. And look out for his upcoming ice cream themed series just in time for the warm weather to start.