South Africa is no stranger to potholes and cracks in the sidewalks and roads. It has become a painful eyesore, not only for drivers but also for people strolling down the street. However, it seems like it is not just in South Africa but Europe as well.
The only difference between SA and Europe is that, in Europe, a creative artist is trying to fix the eyesores. In SA, well, it is left untouched by the government entities charged with maintaining them.
Potholes may sit there for years, becoming a characteristic part of the city's landscape. But, in Europe, a street artist named Ememem is known throughout his home city of Lyon as "the pavement surgeon". And he's dedicated his art to repair the broken cracks by transforming them into colourful mosaics.
The French artist has dubbed his technique "flacking" – a play on the french word 'flaque', meaning puddle. The artist uses ceramics, wood, and bitumen to fill everything from tiny cracks to gaping craters in the pavement.
His artistic work has become a characteristic token of the cracked streets and sidewalks of Lyon. His playful art not only fills the roads of Lyon but is also found in cities throughout Europe. This includes the streets of Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and Milan.
"I'm just a sidewalk poet, a son of bitumen. My work is the story of the city where cobblestones have been displaced; a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt. Each becomes a flack."
The creative artist is currently working on a project which is funded by the Société du Grand Paris, flacking the construction site of the new Grand Paris Express metro. Ememem's inspiring work will be on display there for free until August 31, 2021, for everyone to see. His work will also be displayed at an upcoming exhibition opening at Spraying Board in Lyon on June 2 and in a group show at La Galerie Italienne opening in Paris on June 8.