Flowering Potholes: Lovely Tile Plants Fill Ugly Street Voids

An uniquely elegant solution to a dirty everyday problem, these gorgeous handcrafted tile mosaics are turning unfilled potholes back into functional pieces of city street surface all over Chicago.

flower art context view

This time with an emphasis on beautification, mosaic maker Jim Bachor is back at it again. He is somewhat widely known in the area for using Chicago flags and and other city-themed infill to patch problematic holes in the urban fabric previously.

flower tiles city streets

flower tile chicago artwork

More on the artist’s background and inspiration: “Volunteering to work on an archaeological dig in Pompeii helped merge these two interests in to my art. In the ancient world, mosaics were used to capture images of everyday life. These colorful pieces of stone or glass set in mortar were the photographs of empires long past. Marble and glass do not fade. Mortar is mortar. An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? I find this idea simply amazing.”

flower artist tile chicago

In part, his work on the streets aims to draw attention to the 500,000+ potholes that remain unfixed at any given time, in part a byproduct of the harsh temperature shifts from winter to summer and back again (or as is said in the Midwest: ‘winter and road repair’ seasons).

flower pothole infill art

flower mosaic pot holes

“Using the same materials, tools and methods of the archaic craftsmen, I create mosaics that speak of modern things in an ancient voice. My work locks into mortar unexpected concepts drawn from the present … it surprises the viewer while challenging long-held notions of what a mosaic should be. Like low-tech pixels, hundreds if not thousands of tiny, hand-cut pieces of Italian glass and marble comprise my work.”