An artist finds inspiration in everything, by looking beyond what we see in everyday life to find beauty in the most surprising and unexpected of places. It is the ability to find and appreciate beauty that has spurred several artists to create “pothole artworks.” It is inspiring to think that something as simple as broken asphalt can be the starting point for beautiful works of art.
Apparently in Paris, commercial paving isn’t what it used to be! In fact, the roads there are so bad and so marred with unsightly potholes that young artist Juliana Santacruz Herrera decided to do something about it. In 2009, she gathered an array of knitting supplies and went to work crafting beautiful, knitted plugs to fill-in undesirable potholes. She named her endeavor “Project Pothole” and gained attention for her lovely designs. Of course, the knitted pothole plugs didn’t last for very long, but they did serve the important purpose of inspiring people to think outside the box (or hole) – to take something ugly and transform it into a thing of beauty. You can check out some of her design on Flikr.
Meanwhile, in New York City, photographer Davide Luciano, decided to use potholes in and around the city as props in his photographs. But instead of simply documenting the potholes, he transformed them into a variety unlikely scenarios, including a grape-stomping pit, a pile of spaghetti and meatballs, a swimming pool fit for a diver (and a drowner!), and more. The best part of the story? Luciano actually got the idea for his project after he had a rough encounter with a pothole, proving that good things can come out of bad events. Luciano’s artwork can be seen on his website.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer or skilled artist to improve on a pothole. You may only need a green thumb! Recently, urban gardeners have been planting small gardens inside of potholes, too. Some grow a favorite flower, while others add tiny garden ornaments. Either way these gardens provide people with something pretty to look at in place of something unpleasant. Pothole gardens are doable for anyone, and they happen to work especially well for homegrown potholes, such as holes in your driveway or sidewalk. Check out pothole gardener Steve Wheen’s blog for great examples of pothole gardens worldwide.