Most of us just look at cracks in the sidewalk or potholes in the street and only see ugliness. However, true artists can find beauty anywhere! Read on to discover how one artist creates mosaic masterpieces out of potholes...
French Artist With A Unique Medium
No, French artist Ememem does not rap in French. Instead, he uses his artistic skills to fix potholes in the road, making the roads and sidewalks in his hometown more beautiful! It all started during his daily walks, when he thought about flowers growing up through the cracks. That's when he came up with his mosaic ideas, which he now calls "flacking."
"His terrestrial works of art, called "flacking" from the french word "flaque" (puddle) let a glimpse of light through our homogeneous pavements which entombed our cities," Ememem's website reads. Now, in his hometown of Lyon, France, locals call Ememem "the pavement surgeon." As for the creator himself, he thinks that "flacking," is something everyone can understand - "a poem that everybody can read." In the end, he wants to turn the entire city into an art gallery that anyone visit. Ememem also says that it creates "a memory notebook of the city. It reveals what happened, the life in these public places," he explained. "Here cobblestones have been picked up and thrown. There a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt…"
It might not seem like these pieces take a lot of inspiration, Ememem says a lot of thought and time goes into each creation!
Fixing Potholes With Mosaics
From the moment that Ememem started working with ceramics ten years ago, he knew he was on the right path. After seeing a terribly distressed alley in Lyon, the artist wondered if he could use mosaic to make it brighter. So, he started repairing the streets with his art! Now, the mosaic has fixed almost every crack and hole he has found around his home. Not only that, but he's expanded to other French cities, including Paris! Meanwhile, Ememem says its become his favorite style of art to work in! "It's a succession of a lot of places and reflections, experiments I did before. I had done similar things, with other techniques, other supports, and finally, when this one emerged, I knew I found something that I was going to keep doing for the rest of my life," Ememem explained.
Want to see some of Ememem's incredible artworks? Well, in Paris, you can go to the Grand Paris Express in Saint-Maur-Créteil. He's also entered some pieces into the traveling art show Ceramic Now! Of course, you can also take a visit to Ememem's website and Instagram page for an extensive portfolio. He's constantly updating it with his latest masterpieces. Not only that, he details the materials and his processes. It's quite the sight to behold!