Artist Jim Bachor (previously) continued his guerilla effort to remedy Chicago’s pothole problem by creating a number of flower mosaics in streets around the city. Bachor installed four mosaics through this fall while the weather cooperated, but as things get wet and cooler we’ll probably see a bit less of his, uhm, street art. I’m not sure if any of these are still around, but he keeps a list of photos and addresses where each piece was installed. Bachor opens a new exhibition of mosiac art at Packer Schopf Gallery titled “Jentaculum” early next month.
Photographer Gray Malin was recently in Chicago where he shot a number of amazing aerial photos around the city including beaches, Navy Pier, and spots around Millenium Park. For some reason, even though it’s been on view for nearly 8 years now, I’ve never seen a photo of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate taken from directly above like this. It looks almost exactly like a small lake filled with Chicago’s skyline. You can see more from Malin’s trip here. (via Art Effect)
On a quick local note, our friends from the mighty Sketchbook Project are stopping by Chicago on August 22 & 23 with some 4,000 sketchbooks for you to peruse from their famous mobile library. The library will be parked at Galerie F which is opening Cut Along the Dotted Lines, a stencil art exhibition featuring work by SARO, Jason Rowland, and EPYON5. It’ll be awesome, see you there!
Even by Chicago standards the weather here in the midwestern U.S. has been bizarre and extreme lately. We’ve seen giant walls of fog caused in part by a bitterly cold winter that chilled Lake Michigan, and numerous lightning storms that last for hours. Local videographer Craig Shimala was filming a timelapse of a derecho from his home this week when he managed to capture a triple lightning strike on three of Chicago’s tallest buildings: Willis Tower, Trump Tower and the John Hancock Building. Even more incredibly, he filmed the same occurence almost four years ago to the day back in 2010.
After one of the most brutal winters in over 30 years, Chicago’s streets are pockmarked with an estimated 600,000 gaping potholes, making some streets almost impassable and raising the ire of residents citywide. The issue is so prevalent that the city even created a dedicated Pothole Tracker that shows potholes patched by the Department of Transportation over the last seven days. But some Chicagoans are more proactive and aren’t content to wait for help. One such person is artist Jim Bachor who has taken to filling potholes with original tile mosaics.
Inspired in part by trips to view ancient art in Italy during the 1990’s, Bachor has been creating mosaic work for several years, though of a much more whimsical nature. Think mosaics of coffee cups, twinkies, and boxes of cereal. For his pothole project Bachor has filled about 7 potholes with his original artwork that borrows from the design of the Chicago flag. While some of the mosaics simply read POTHOLE others are given unique ID numbers or include the phone number to nearby auto repair shops (the city has received 1,100 claims of car damage due to potholes this season). Bachor says the tongue-in-cheek approach is meant more as a sense of civic pride than a form of complaint against the city, as the potholes are an inevitable part of living in Chicago.
Photo by Kate Sierzputowski courtesy Hyperallergic
Bachor hopes to do a few more pieces in the near future, though each mosaic costs around $50 to make and takes a considerable amount of time to prepare and install. Also, the resulting patch is temporary; these aren’t meant as a permanent fix. You can read more about the project over on Hyperallergic, and you can see more of Jim’s work at the Thorndale Red Line stop in a few months. (via Hyperallergic)
While on approach to Chicago O’Hare International Airport last week after a business trip, amateur photographer Mark Hersch glanced out his window at the setting sun and decided to pull out his iPhone to take a photo. Right then the plane banked for a 180-degree left turn over Lake Michigan for a final westward approach when an unexpected play of light occurred: the entire skyline of Chicago was suddenly projected in shadow from underneath the cover of clouds. It’s safe to say this is textbook definition of a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Photo courtesy Mark Hersch. (via Twisted Sifter)