For the third year in a row Chicago artist Jim Bachor (previously here and here) has taken it upon himself to preemptively fix city potholes by filling them with themed mosaics. This year Bachor decided on a series of 10 pothole mosaics called Treats in the Streets featuring different kinds of ice cream. At the latest count, four artworks have appeared in locations around Chicago, and he traveled all the way to Jyväskylä, Finland last week to do three more mosaics including a local popsicle-like dessert called Amppari-mehujaa. Bachor says to keep an eye out for three more pieces back home in Chicago sometime before spring is out.
From 2012-2013 Gucci Japan produced an online video series called “Hand” that payed homage to 35 artists and designers who eschew modern mass-production in favor of traditional techniques. One of the most impressive videos is an example of Japanese parquetry demonstrated by Noboru Honma, where geometric mosaics of wood are cut into razor-thin veneers for application on boxes or other decorative objects.
According to Jesus Diaz over at Gizmodo, when viewed with headphones and at full-screen, this video may be an example of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), a perceptual phenomenon that’s described on Wikipedia as “a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.” So, what’s the verdict, does this Japanese parquetry make your spine tingle!? Or maybe this calligraphy video? Or what about competitive wood planing? Anything? (via Spoon & Tamago, Sploid)
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)
Artist Gerhard Marx in conjunction with Spier Architectural Arts recently created an enormous sculptural mosaic of an aerial photograph of Johannesburg, South Africa. Seven professional mosaic artists, together with nine apprentices worked for 5 months to complete the project using natural stone such as marble and travertine, fragments of red brick, ceramic elements and chips of Venetian smalti glass. In the end, the 56-panel aerial image weighs nearly three tons and was presented last month at the 2013 FNB Joburg Art Fair.
Watch the video above to see how the piece came together, and also learn about another work created through an additional partnership between Spier and artist Sam Nhlengethwa. (via Colossal Submissions)
Japanese artist Sagaki Keita (perviously here and here) recently updated his portfolio with a number of new works from 2012. Keita creates composite pen and ink illustrations using thousands of densely scribbled doodles, goofy characters seemingly born from the margins of notebook paper that then form everything from Roman statues to artworks from pop culture. Several of these illustrations are actually part of a commissioned campaign for Expedia from late last year. You can see much more on his website.
Japanese paper engineer Kota Hiratsuka has been creating beautifully complex origami mosaics that rely on cut and folded geometric patterns. He plans to sell the various templates as downloadable PDFs through his website …though not just yet, so stay tuned. See many more of his works here and on Flickr. If you liked this also check out the work of Matthew Shlian.
Korean artist Lee Kyu-Hak creates beautiful mixed-media paintings (mosaics?) by wrapping small wooden wedges with colored newsprint that mimic the brushstrokes of famous artists. Lee’s artworks appear mostly to be reinterpretations of pieces by Vincent van Gogh, but I think I see a few original compositions as well. See much more over at Yesong gallery.