“ancient art … and potholes”

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Ancient art meets the mean streets of Chicago… well, the potholes anyway. Artist/designer Jim Bachor and I are talking about his gorgeous mosaic work, his 85 year old lookout, the fact that people are truly awesome, and me possibly dressing up as Jim for Halloween. You can listen right up there under that glass ‘n marble ice cream sandwich, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, “THIS IS NOT A POTHOLE anymore”…

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No, it isn’t! It’s an amazing piece of art that I would love to happen upon while out for a walk! Yep, Jim’s ice creams are my faves, of course, and we’ll get back to them in just a moment. But first, here are the portraits of his twin boys (Henry and Ajax), along with two other portraits. If one piece of glass doesn’t transfer, these very detailed faces can end up looking really weird. Luckily all of these beauties worked out just fine…

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Wow. Also, I love that he’s using this ancient technique to make Starbucks cups and cigarettes.

So. This is it. Jim’s very first pothole, naturally titled “POTHOLE”…

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Ah, yes, art born from necessity. If the city won’t fill the pothole in front of your house, just fill it with art!

He said that he was a little bit scared of getting in trouble for the pothole. He had just won a commission to create a mosaic at Thorndale Red Line station on Chicago’s North Side and didn’t want to risk losing it. Thankfully, he didn’t get in any trouble for his pothole-fixing, and the mural project went off without a hitch. Oh, and it’s gorgeous…

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Beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful – good friends are beautiful. Enter Pat, Jim’s friend who emailed everyone… including me! Here’s a little bit of that very supportive email…

… Jim studied the mosaic arts for months in Italy. Now he’s not only selling his own pieces, but he decided to share some of  his “mysterious” work with the public. Me? I’m Pat. Never mind about me. I’m Jim’s friend and Jim is a bit flummoxed by this whole publicity thing. So, grub worm that I am, I took it upon myself to promote my pal.

“Me? I’m Pat. Never mind about me.” Ha! I think I may to put that on a T-shirt!

Ok, up next we really got into the whole pothole thing. What do people hate? Potholes. What do people love? Flowers…

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… and ice cream …

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YES! Oh, I love Jim’s “Treats in the Streets”. That pink and yellow piece just above was the piece he did in Finland. Site-specific ice cream potholes? Fan-freakin-tastic! 

Now, Finland is certainly not the only place he’s filled a pothole or two. The day before we did this interview Jim had been in San Antonio. He’d reached out to his followers there, was pointed to this specific pothole, and while he was there he filled it with a bit of “trash”. As part of his “Pretty Trashy” series he paid homage to San Antonio’s own “Whataburger”. Here he is in action – orange vest, cones, knee pads and all – followed by a few more trashy potholes from the same series…

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Love. So, when Jim isn’t filling potholes with very, very expensive glass tiles, he is creating fine art mosaics that can hang on the wall. Once again, ancient technique and pop culture come crashing together. Here are two pieces from his cereal series…

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Mmmm… insanely detailed glass and marble Cocoa Puffs!

This is the piece he was talking about, from his latest series titled “Fake”, with the tiny plane in the top corner. Again, his combination of old and new is just so perfect…

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That red circle is printed onto the glass that sits over top of the mosaic, bringing your attention to the plane. Graphic. Clever. Beautiful.

And that’s that. Ahhh, I loved that conversation so much! What a talented, smart, funny guy! So how should we leave off? I thought this would be perfect…

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He certainly has. One pothole at a time. Thanks so much to Jim for taking the time to do this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; thanks to audible.com for making my new book into an audio book! To preorder a copy for FREE {or to pick up any other book you might want} just use my link: audibletrial.com/JealousCurator. And you guessed it… thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Jim’s store (originals, prints, etc)
  2. Jim’s Instagram … so you can see him in action!
  3. Map to find the potholes

 






comments (7)

  1. Heidi /// 10.02.2016 /// 6:49am

    Amazing, so inspiring thank you!

  2. Marc Cardwell /// 10.02.2016 /// 10:16am

    love the work and talk! he must be close to my age, my friends and i would sneak watching “love american style” because it was so risqué.

  3. Wayne Smith /// 10.03.2016 /// 7:11am

    Listening to your podcast, I wasn’t sure how these pothole replacements would look but i’m blown away by it! What an incredibly beautiful and innovative way to freshen up a street. Mosaic street graffiti, love Jim’s work! Thanks so much for introducing him to us!

  4. the jealous curator /// 10.03.2016 /// 7:46am

    my absolute pleasure!

  5. Donna Hurlbut /// 10.04.2016 /// 8:26am

    Great interview and amazing artist doing really cool mosaic art! I am so glad I found your podcast and website Danielle! I love getting the backstory from the artists themselves, awesome job, catching up with all your podcasts until this weekend’s. Peace

  6. mela.art /// 10.04.2016 /// 12:15pm

    One of your best post ever. So fluid display of Jim’s art pieces, with your smart and funny comments. Perfectly full circle. Nailed it, Danielle!

    And Jim, you definitely make a difference with your art. Thanks for inspiring us to get better and clever in our art practice. ; ) Cheers!!! Your Rock!!!

  7. Susan B /// 10.12.2016 /// 8:26am

    You are just the best. I love the things you find, I never would have stumbled onto that myself. I am so digging Jim Bachor’s work, clever and such incredible eye candy. Bravo!!!







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