Jim Bachor - thinking awfully hard in Sicily
Jim Bachor is an artist pal who I know from Facebook. His sophistocated and captivating work defines an ironic juxtaposition between ancient and contemporary art. Using centuries-old mosaic techniques, Jim constructs what appear to be classical compositions that, upon closer inspection, reveal signature urban castoffs such as discarded MacDonald's containers and crumpled candy wrappers.
A graduate of the Center for Creative Studies in downtown Detroit, former Michigander Jim Bachor has lived in Chicago now for more than 20 years.
Jim’s passion for mosaic art was born in 1998 when he first traveled to Europe and immersed himself in the historically artistic cultures of London, Rome and Paris.
For two months in 1999, Jim rented a house in Rome and, with a phrase book in one hand and a shovel in the other, explored the ancient sites of the city and surrounding countryside.
B.C. in 3D
Inspired to learn more about his newfound infatuation, Jim went back to Italy later that same year and took classes in Ravenna on the demanding and meticulous mosaic art form. During subsequent archaeology-based trips to Greece, Turkey and even a dig in Pompeii, he was amazed by the stunning examples of 2,000 year-old art buried deep underground.
One fact about mosaics intrigued Jim more than any other. Marble and glass don’t fade. And, as a result, unlike oil paintings or frescoes, ancient mosaics found today appear exactly as the artist intended them to look centuries ago.
God This Coffes Good!
Jim has adapted this ancient art form to contemporary American life, capturing everyday scenes in a way that, many lifetimes from now, will open a window onto life in the early 21st century.
To see his more of his works please visit his web site by clicking HERE.
"After helping to excavate an old factory in the lost city of Pompeii, I was dumbstruck by the contrast between what happened to the people that once lived there and what happened to their art. While the population was extinguished in a heartbeat by an angry Vesuvius, the mosaics which they created retained their beauty and vitality for millennia beneath the hardened volcanic ash. Their art survived to tell their story. And when you consider how, in a small way, man seeks immortality through art, it makes sense to choose a medium which is not only beautiful, but also indestructible. It’s a comforting thought that while my ideas may not stand the test of time, my work certainly will."
About his technique, Jim states:
"I’ve studied mosaic art in Ravenna, Italy, known for their many mosaic-filled churches. I’ve taken what I learned there and, using these ancient techniques, began to apply modern “takes” to this timeless art. Various marbles and imported italian glass (smalti) are used in my mosaics. I break each piece of glass/marble by hand and set them into a temporary base of hydrated lime. When i consider the mosaic finished, i set the piece using cheesecloth and glue. After it dries for a few days i then lift and transfer the mosaic into a box filled with a permanent mortar binder. A day later I then scrub the piece with wire brushes to remove any glue and mortar residue. Finally I stain the mortar with watercolor washes to help “tighten” the visuals. Each piece takes from 60 to 140 hours to complete. My art tends to be smaller in size given the weight of the pieces and the time-consuming nature of the process."
- ► 2010 (21)
- ► 2009 (56)