Pavement Cracks Become an Opportunity for Colorful Mosaic Art

Mosaic Art in Pavement Cracks by Ememem

Cracks on the pavement are a common sight in cities. And while most people choose to step around them, one artist is using these gaps as an opportunity for urban beautification. French artist Ememem—sometimes known as “the pavement surgeon”—fills street fractures with dazzling mosaic art, which transforms the decay into something beautiful.

From large potholes to unsightly chips on a cobblestone path—Ememem fills all shapes of crevices with colorful designs. To do this, the artist uses his own technique, called “flacking,” which refers to the french word flaque, meaning puddle. This describes the freeform approach Ememem has to his site-specific creations. Depending on the size of the fissure and the aesthetic he wants to create, he procures a unique selection of ceramic, wood, and bitumen to fill the space. What he chooses also informs the distinctive pattern he can create, which he organizes by size and color.

Amazingly, these mosaics look completely natural in the gray environment. Ememem manages to blend their appearance into the gaps of sidewalks so that they look intentional, as though they were always supposed to exist in that particular opening. Now, people who walk around the artist's hometown of Lyon—or in other European metropolises like Paris and Madrid—can expect to find a gallery of mosaic art scattered across the landscape.

Scroll down to see more mosaic art by Ememem and follow the artist on Instagram to make sure you never miss a project.

French artist Ememem adds art in unexpected places by filling pavement cracks and holes with colorful mosaic art.

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My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Ememem.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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