If cities across the world are looking for a beautiful, edible-focused way to fix their pothole problem, they should look no further than Jim Bachor’s method: make Popsicle mosaics. The artist is currently the “Street Artist in Residence” in Finland installing 6 new pieces as part of his “Treats in the Street” project, which aims to upgrade the ugliness of potholes with the glory of frozen treats.
We talked to Bachor about his inspiration, why Popsicles are so popular, and his favorite frozen dessert.
What’s your background as artist?
I got a degree in graphic design from CCS in Detroit [and] worked as a designer in the Chicago advertisement business for almost 25 years. I dabbled with ancient technique mosaics on the side. I was let go from my job in August of 2011, and I have been focused on this art ever since.
What’s the inspiration for the project?
I developed an interest in ancient history after visiting Europe for the first time in late 1990s. This, in turn, led me to ancient art and then ancient mosaic art: it’s durability astounded me! (It still does!) 2,000 year old mosaics look exactly like the artist intended today. I love the permanence of the art form. Potholes are a never ending, annual problem, and I thought maybe I could try and fix the multiple, temporary pothole fixes throughout the year with this durable art form I like so much. Again, I like the contrast: “temporarily repaired potholes” with a “durable, almost indestructible art form.”
Pothole are universally hated [and] despised no matter who you are (rich, poor, old, young), and ice cream is (almost) universally loved. I like the contrast of juxtaposing something ‘bad’ with something ‘good’.
How is Finland? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve had to eat/drink?
Finland is very nice: quiet, friendly, reserved people. I had my first authentic Finnish sauna today, [it was] a bit out of my comfort zone but a cool (actually hot) experience!
I’m not crazy about smoked fish, but the smoked trout I’ve had here is just delicious. As far as drink is concerned, I’ve forgotten most of the names but I did have some rhubarb-based drink and another this evening. Of course, I’ve had a few drafts of Hoegaarden which is nice (but you can get that in the states).
Do you want to expand to a number of cities?
What’s your favorite frozen dessert?
Mint chocolate chip ice cream (it HAS to be from Baskin-Robbins, no substitutes!) in a sugar cone.