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France’s answer to Banksy: the anonymous street artist filling potholes with colourful mosaics

By Ian Phillips

11 Sep 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

"The pavement surgeon" or "the pothole knight" bringing colour to the cracks in Lyon's streets. Anonymity isn't stopping him from gaining recognition.

Last year, the studio of the Lyon-based artist known as Ememem received an urgent call from an architectural firm close to the city’s Place Sathonay. Someone was in the process of dismantling a mosaic he had installed on the pavement in front of their offices. By the time he arrived, the culprit had fled with half of it.

That artwork may have partially disappeared, but many of Ememem’s other creations remain dotted throughout the municipality’s streets… some 350 and counting. Over the past six years, he has made a speciality of filling divots and potholes with multicoloured mosaics made from tiles of different sizes and different hues, arranged in striking geometric patterns. Some bear his signature, often in the form of an image of a trowel underscored by his name.

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