When there is a lack of asphalt, some artists repair their roads with all kinds of other materials. Gold, pieces of Lego, ceramics… In this way they not only repair the road but convert it into an artistic installation. However, how do they repair a road? Each artist makes it different, as there are different road repair techniques.
Urban road potholes artists
Like French street artist Ememem, who hacks the city and dresses it in colors. He fills cracks in the sidewalks with pieces of ceramics. He calls it flacking, a neologism that, the artist says, means “putting bandaids on the city’s wounds.”
An Ememem flacking in Lyon, France
Ememem working on a sidewalk in Oslo, Norway
Rachel Sussman doesn’t apply bandaids, she accentuates the wounds. The Japanese technique called kintsugi is used to repair broken ceramics with golden glue to celebrate the scars of time instead of hiding them. Sussman has brought this philosophy to the surface of the city. A golden liquid stresses the cracks and imperfections on the streets, revealing their history and the passage of time.
A kintsugi by Rachel Sussman in Vermont, USA
These street artists make decorating the ground seem like something modern, but it really isn’t. Jim Bachor took inspiration from Pompey, the Roman city destroyed by lava in the first century AD. The mosaics were some of the few things that survived. Bachor went to Italy to learn this ancient technique, then put it into practice on his neighborhood road to fill up a pothole. From there, it’s gone all over the world.
A Jim Bachor mosaic in Chicago, USA
The graffiti artist Megx didn’t look to the ground but to the heavens, although his Lego bridge can be considered part of the road. A road that each day serves not only cars and pedestrians but scores of people curious to admire his work.