Chicago Potholes Are Filled with Pandemic Essentials in Humorous New Mosaics by Jim Bachor

I thought that this public artwork, created by Jim Bachor and featured in this Colossal article, was both funny and heartwarming (a much needed combination of emotions in today’s day and age). Bachor has created a series of tile mosaics to fill in potholes in Chicago, with two of the mosaics inspired by essential items associated with COVID-19 (a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of hand-sanitizer). Bachor uses playful colors and fun backgrounds to give a sense of hope and light-heartedness, which I think is a really admirable tone for the artist to choose to embody when creating something related to a serious and sometimes heartbreaking public health situation. He’s also made some other pothole mosaics unrelated to COVID-19, which offer similarly unexpected patches of fun and color in the otherwise everyday experience of walking (or driving) down the street.

One thing that particularly stood out to me on reading the Colossal article was Bachor’s commentary on how some people perceive his works as political statements intended to spur the city government to fix the potholes. Instead, Bachor says, “[the potholes] are an unsolvable problem…. I actually have empathy for city government. It’s a no-win situation.” The real motivation behind Bachor’s pothole mosaics is “[to] keep myself connected with people that like my work but might not be able to afford an original or print.” I think that’s a great sentiment.

Some of Bachor’s mosaics:

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