Wherever a piece of art is installed or hang, the atmosphere of that particular place changes in a unique way and it becomes more beautiful meaning it attracts more people to it. We’ve seen and thought of artworks in different places: on billboards, in museum, galleries, others hanged in offices, restaurants and so many other places. But have we seen such thing on the roads? Like literally on the road, where we drive our cars or walk on. It is actually possible to bring a little beauty and color to our “boring” black tarmac roads.
Have you ever been on a journey to a far away destination with your loved ones and you want that particular journey to make one of the most defining moments in your life but the potholes on the roads just won’t let you? You hope to have a good and smooth ride all along and spend lesser time to get to your destination but it ends up being the opposite because of the potholes. Potholes are with no doubt super annoying; they make the journey tiresome and slower than it should be to the point that the driver and passengers don’t get to enjoy their ride; if anything all they want to do is just get to their destination. Citizens end up pointing fingers on the leadership and the transportation departments for failing to notice such annoying factors on the roads.
Everybody hates potholes but Jim Bachor, a Chicago based artist in the United States decided to provide a “solution” to the potholes by filling them with mosaics of rats, cockroaches and pigeons. Jim has made the potholes a work of art. He filled five city potholes with a series he called “Vermin of New York” which includes a dead cockroach on Bleecker Street, a dead pigeon on Pacific Street and a cheeky portrait of President Trump’s face in East Village . It seems quite weird and portrays a whole new creativity level but Jim did it anyway because that is what being an artist means; doing the odd, thinking deeply and creatively and getting away from “the norm.” Yes!!Welcome to NYC where art on the roads has taken over.
Was Jim allowed to do so? Were there any cops or city officers who probably supervised the whole process of installing the artworks? Jim didn’t get any permission from city officials for his art, he and his team wore neon vests as they cemented in the glass and marble works he had made from his Wind City studio. Actually they never saw any cops the whole time they were working like city workers.
The City Real Department of Transportation says it isn’t a fan of Bachor’s work and it will pave over them when it finds them. The department actually looks at the art in a very unique way because it says the artwork can pose safety hazards should drivers become distracted by the art. Are you a driver? Is it possible to get distracted by the art? Do you think it should not be allowed?
New Yorkers on the other hand who appreciate art are okay with Jim’s work and they hope that the Department of Transportation will come to appreciate it too. Jim feels that it is no crime to do what he did; he has filled potholes back in Chicago in 2013 and never got any complains, as a matter of fact, the patch-ups have become celebrated local icons.
Despite the reactions of the transport department, we cannot deny the fact that art has so much power, and Jim used that power to fill up potholes in the roads. New Yorkers can now “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate their journey” just like one Barbara Hoffman said.