When two photographers drove over an enormous pothole while visiting their hometown of Montreal, they couldn’t stop thinking about it—not how to fix it, but how to turn it and other potholes into a photography project.
The scenes in “MyPotholes,” shot in streets in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Montreal, are wildly imaginative takes on what a bump in the road might be: A dog wash, a baptism, or a drowning swimmer being rescued on Baywatch. In all, the photographers created 18 different detailed scenes, brainstorming concepts as they drove and noticed potholes.
“We filled our car with props and asked our friends and family to model,” says Davide Luciano, who worked on the project with his wife, fellow photographer and food stylist Claudia Ficca. “We shot the scenes during uninterrupted traffic; sometimes we needed to get out of the way, and other times drivers would go around us.”
People passing by often stopped to talk, sharing their own stories about potholes. And since everything was out in public, sometimes an impromptu audience stuck around for the whole shoot. “One guy wanted our hot dogs and beer from the BBQ scene, so we gave him the goods after we shot the scene,” Luciano says.
They didn't have permits, and had one run-in with the police; just after setting up the scene of a man eating spaghetti and meatballs on a street in New York, and after taking only a couple of shots, a police car pulled up next to them.
"Claudia ran over to the pothole, lifted the bag and spaghetti out of the pothole and the four of us walked away with the shot," Luciano says. "Luckily the policemen let us go."
Even though Luciano says the project started out just as a way to "expose the ridiculous pothole problem,” eventually it started to mean a little more.
"Along the way we realized that sometimes we can't change things that frustrate us—like potholes—but we have the power to change our perspective toward those things," he says. "That is what this project is really about.”