Pothole Becomes Portal to "Wonderland" - NBC New York

Pothole Becomes Portal to "Wonderland"

Alice chases the White Rabbit into 30th street for photo series



    Pothole Becomes Portal to "Wonderland"
    Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano
    Alice in Potholeland

    Montreal natives Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca have spent the last year traversing the lower 48 in search of the perfect pothole. No, they're not crazy, they're artists. And their photo series -- called, appropriately, "My Potholes" -- depicts the hazardous erosions as utilitarian spaces for washing your dog or icing your beer as well as more fantastical activities like scuba diving or fishing.

    The project was conceived after the couple's Jetta had a costly collision with one such crater. Ever the optimists (you know Canadians) the run-in inspired them to challenge people to see the annoyances -- that are a part of every neighborhood whether you like it or not -- in a different way.

    Having exhausted the potholes in their own neighborhood for the project, the couple decided to hit the road (after their car was fixed, of course) to seek inspiration from potholes in other cities. L.A.-themed photos include a Bay Watch-style babe saving a drowning woman and a "celebrity," surrounded by red velvet ropes and paparazzi, leaving his handprints ala Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    NBCNewYork was on site for their first NYC shoot last fall -- a man making spaghetti and meatballs on Greenwich Street (they had originally planned to do it in Little Italy) -- and now, after a successful exhibit at the Soho Photo Gallery in February, they're hitting the streets of the Big Apple again.

    For their second New York City shoot, they were inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (and Tim Burton's recently twisted cinematic interpretation) to use a pothole as Alice's "portal to wonderland." They chose to do the shoot in New York because they "feel that the City is our creative wonderland" and "the grittiness serves as the perfect backdrop for this scene."

    They found a pothole on 30th street large and deep enough to serve as a believable hole through which a curious young girl just might be tempted to follow a (in this case stuffed) rabbit. They also thought the spindly tree in the background added a nice "Tim Burtonesque" touch to the scene. Traffic, as usual, was a problem (although it seems like one benefit of pothole photography is that people tend to avoid them in the first place) so, in their typical guerrilla-style of shooting, Claudia and Davide took turns directing curious passersby to keep passing while the other snapped the photos.

    The two intend to continue the New York leg of their pothole series in the coming months. Have such a cursed intrusion on your own block? Who knows, it could soon become fine art. Look for it at mypotholes.com.