Local artist Bukaty derives beauty from imperfection

Local artist Bukaty derives beauty from imperfection

Colin Mahar, Staff Reporter

Local artist John Bukaty will host “NOLA Pot Holes: Impressions of Street Art,” a sculpture exhibit showcasing molds of various famous potholes from around the city from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 7 at the John Bukaty Studio and Gallery.

Bukaty is a local live painter known for his vibrant depictions of subjects ranging from famous musicians to college basketball games. For his most recent endeavor, Bukaty has decided to try his hand at sculpture with an exhibit that is as unique and perplexing as the city that inspired the idea. To create the individual sculptures Bukaty went to a number of particularly noteworthy potholes in the city, filled them with plaster and fashioned a mirror image replica of the inside of the holes.

“When I first moved here, I thought that everyone would agree with me [about] how bad [the pot holes] were, but it turns out that they were just used to it,” Bukaty said. “I don’t think that they’re going away anytime soon.”

In showcasing the potholes Bukaty is making a statement about how even the most unpleasant or overlooked things can become iconic within a certain context.

“I had this [concept in mind] and then became obsessed with it because every time I hit a pothole, I was reminded of that idea,” Bukaty said. “I kept obsessing until I had to do the show because [potholes] say New Orleans more than roaches.”

Thus, the potholes represent a way to champion the imperfections that make New Orleans the strange and amazing city that it is, while poking fun at its quirks at the same time.

“I think you can find beauty in harmful or ugly things that exist all around us,” Bukaty said. “Yet, on the other hand, if an artist can go out and fill one, take it back out and make art, then I think [the city] could just find a way to fill them.”

If the potholes of New Orleans are in fact here to stay, then at least they have inspired something more meaningful than a few flat tires.

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