As a born-and-raised Chicagoan, I can tell you that living in the Windy City comes with a few givens: You will develop a rabid obsession with deep dish pizza. You’ll become even more sentimental about John Hughes movies (they were filmed all over the city + its northern suburbs). And you’ll begrudgingly learn to co-exist with potholes. Chicago’s got an estimated — wait for it — 600,000 of them(!!!) and as you can imagine, the cratered streets make commutes for drivers and cyclists alike a total horrorshow. But what can only be described as a constant headache is now something residents can actually smile about. Local artist Jim Bachor is turning the wrecked roads into art by filling potholes with original mosaics.
To date, Bachor has filled seven of the city’s 16 x 22 inch offenders with red, white and blue glass tiles designed to resemble the Chicago flag. Each is branded with cheeky type, from stating the obvious with the word “POTHOLE” to assigning each road ruin a fake serial number or even advertising the phone numbers to nearby car repair shops, making the bumpy rides a bit more tolerable and way more LOL-able.
Now with a city commission under his belt, Bachor is turning his guerrilla-style patch ups into a city-wide street art initiative. His next move is to showcase his quirky temporary solution to the city’s dire pothole problem on more high-vis downtown streets, where both locals and tourists can delight in what has always been a universal grumble. You Know You Live In Chicago When tagging your photo with #chicagopotholes isn’t followed by a :,( anymore.
What epic street art have you seen lately? Share the photos in the comments below.