POTHOLE ART

September 19, 2018

As an artist or aesthete what would you do with your works?  So much right? Well let us have a quick check on some of the magical wonders of art.

Art Therapy – Did you know that art heals? That it is as a matter of fact a means of offering therapeutic help?

Award winning journalist, Tara Kanagarlou – famously know for reporting investigative stories, founded the Art of Hope Centre (Lebanon), to help in eliminating trauma and psychological difficulties undergone by Syrian refugees through art therapy. Artists, get to share painful experiences by illuminating on them during the art therapy sessions, which involve more than drawing one’s feelings. One gets to express oneself through different forms of art such as painting, photography, making of sculptures and more.

 

 

 

 

Art Unites. Yes it does. Quite a good number of persons will agree with me on this, but the difference appears when it comes to the means, the means that is used to bring about the said unity.

South Korean artist Kyungah Ham, creates artwork – Embroidery Project, which aim at reuniting North and South Korea. The artwork is a combo - of both countries’ identities, with South Korea emerging with technology and North Korea with craftsmanship. Her designs, which are produced using a computer, are printed and smuggled into the landscapes of North Korea. Before they are showcased and sold in art galleries and exhibitions, a group of craftsmen (unknown to her) convert them into embroideries that are then made into fine stitching. The risks and the challenges that come with smuggling, all in the name of bringing unity through art are indeed more than just sacrifice.

 

 

Now, what crosses your mind when you think about a road full of potholes? A journey full of displeasure moments over and over, right? The discomfort and the struggles, very evident. In a more drastic road, you can barely sip that mouth warming or tasty drink without messing yourself up. And for those who love using their mobile phones, how do you take that selfie or send a text message without dropping your phone. Annoying right? And each time we'll blame and curse the drivers, they will on the other hand blame it on the government most probably, its like you are fighting. Like can't you just enjoy a smooth ride to your destination?

 

Well, ever come across the term “porthole art” before? Yes porthole, literally artworks that fill in portholes.

 

Meet Mr Jim Bachor, the man that fills portholes with mosaics of almost everything – that piques one’s interest on how, when but mostly why. The why should be the answer on why we cannot afford to enjoy smooth drives or rides.

 

The Chicago - based artist, together with his team filled up portholes around Manhattan and Brooklyn before moving with the latest art works to New York City. If there are measures on art creativity, personally I wouldn't know how to measure Mr Bachor. He's creativity is in a whole new level. In New York, he wanted to do something, different.

 

Bachor invaded the city with the series, “Vermin of New York”, which included a cockroach, a rat, a pigeon, and the USA president Donald Trump. The dead cockroach was placed on Bleecker Street, the dead pigeon on Pacific Street in Prospect Heights, and Trump’s face in the East Village. The pieces appeared to be interestingly beautiful.

 

Mr.Bachor in his own unique way, uses art as a means of creating porthole free roads and also irresistible beauty.

 

 

Bachor began his art career as a graphic designer but later then developed interest for ancient history when he visited Europe for the first time in the late 1990s.

Drawn to ancient art and the most durable being the mosaics, Bachor went all the way to Ravenna, Italy where he studied ancient art of mosaic. And by using the same materials, tools, and methods of ancient craftsmen, he aimed at bringing life to mosaic artworks. In the year 2013, more of an aesthete, Bachor applied this philosophy and filled up portholes in his owns street in Chicago. This move gave him a push in his work – Porthole art.

 

He says that’s its with a basis and foundation of “unexpected subject matter” - “where it is not necessarily a beauty to begin with, but you make it angelic with the right art form”.

 

Just like the in Chicago, the New yokers love his art. But the Department of transportation was not that amused unlike the Chicago’s department who said that they do appreciate Bachor’s art though cautioning that roads and porthole fixing are best left for professionals and experts.

It is still sad news to art lovers in the NYC after the Department of Transportation got rid of some of these artworks. Its spokeswoman  Alana Morales, termed  Bachor work as ‘unsafe’ should drivers get distracted by the art. “Bachor puts himself in harms’s way by working in the middle of roadways, which is also a form of danger to all road users”.

 

 

 

But strong at heart, “It’s taking something you might see in the street anyway and transform it into  beauty,” Bachor said. “New York has so much going for it, why not just do stuff that people complain about?”

 

Well, we could have a whole new package of porthole filled roads, or not, everyone has a different opinion over this form of artwork. It is the extra – ordinary doings of art.What do you think?

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