Who is itVhils?
Vhilsgrew up in Seixal, an industrialized suburb across the river from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and was profoundly influenced by the transformations brought about by the intense urban development that the country went through in the 1980s and 1990s.Alexandre Fartoit was particularly inspired by the way city walls absorb the social and historical changes taking place around them. In his large-scale murals and smaller works on wooden doors and panels,Alexandre Farto, also known asVhils, combines detailed figuration with a material process involved: rips or punctures, so as to make his images (predominantly portraits) inextricable from the material itself. With this subtractive process,Vhilsunites elements of painting and sculpture and reflects on how the built environment absorbs social change and development.Vhilshe has exhibited in cities around the world and produced collaborations with several institutions, including the EDP Foundation in Lisbon, the Center Pompidou, the Barbican Centre, the CAFA Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
1.Compact Life - Lisbon, Portugal, 2006
The history ofAlexandre Fartohe started on the street at the age of 13, however he quickly moved to a museum space when at the age of 17 he had his first exhibition with the Vera Cortês art gallery. With the idea of creating an artist agency business, mainly young people on the rise, Vera Cortês Art Agency was created in 2003. The concept went well enough to invest in the opening of a gallery of its own, in 2006. With great optimism Vera Cortês, in this time of great creative frenzy, accompanied artists – many of whom were little known at the time, such as Alexandre Farto (Vhils), and Daniel Blaufuks, focusing on the gallery's internationalization.
Vhilsand gallery owner Vera Cortês met in 2004.Alexandre Fartostated: “Betting on such a young artist “was a risk”. At the high,VhilsI was looking for a gallery that would “respect my work. I didn't want to be making canvases”, he recalls. Vera Cortês gave him the opportunity, in 2005, to have a small exhibition, starting with a partnership that lasts until today.
2.Scratching the Surface
One of the fundamental concepts of the work ofVhilsresides in the act of destruction as a creative force, a concept that I brought from graffiti – a process of work through removal, decomposition or destruction linked to the overlapping of historical and cultural layers that compose us. In 2008, he participated in the Cans Festival in London, where his innovative digging technique – which forms the basis of the “Scratching the Surface” series – was exposed to an international audience for the first time, to critical acclaim.
Vhilsstated: "I believe that, symbolically, if we remove some of these layers, leaving others exposed, we can bring up something of what we left behind."
He uses explosives and pneumatic hammers to sculpt and give texture, a technique he has been developing. But not only that, it also uses bleach, cleaning products, corrosive acids and coffee along with traditional sprays, stencils and paints.
3. Sidewalk (Portrait of Amália Rodrigues), 2015
Vhilsbecame known by the faces of strangers but also important figures in the history of Portugal. An example of this is the public commission, a unique piece created in Portuguese pavement that pays tribute to the late Fado diva Amália Rodrigues (1920-1999). Located in the center of Lisbon, the piece entitled “Calçada” is a collaboration with the City Council flooring team. Evoking Fado – the Portuguese urban music genre par excellence – and the city of Lisbon that Amália sang so well, it is also a tribute to the pavilions themselves as the oldest urban artists in the city responsible for the development of a unique decorative art that became The visual identity of Portugal.
4.Portugal, Backward to the Future, 2016
“Portugal, Retrocesso ao Futuro”, an extensive multidisciplinary installation ofVhilsand ±MaisMenos±, takes advantage of the poetic decay of the old installations of a sawmill in the center of Viseu to weave a striking reflection that starts from the reality of a post-financial rescue of Portugal to reflect on its condition of hostage to international institutions and loss of self-government, about the uncertainty surrounding its future, but also about its relationship with Europe and its own future at a time when conflicting internal pressures seem to have taken it to the brink of the abyss, reviving historical tensions that were thought to have been resolved. and buried in the comfort of a comprehensive and harmonious model. A reflection that gains relevance in the post-British referendum reality, which also explores themes such as the resurgence of populism, the north-south division, xenophobia and demagoguery, the relativization of the achievements of the European model that, despite everything, of its failures , needs to be renovated from the inside. A reflection, in short, on the possibilities for the future of Portugal and Europe at a critical historical moment.
Vhilspresented his work in more than 40 countries in solo and group exhibitions, art interventionssite-specificand projects in various contexts – from working with communities in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai to collaborations with art institutions such as the Center Pompidou (Paris), Barbican Center (London), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), MAAT (Lisbon), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Le Centquatre-Paris, (Paris), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), among others. An avid experimentalist,Vhilshas been developing his personal aesthetic in a plurality of media, in addition to his sculpting technique: from stencil painting to metal engraving, from pyrotechnic explosions and video to sculptural installations. He also directed several music videos, short films and two theatrical productions.Vhilsit is present analogically but also in the virtual one, with some NFTs. The first consisted of a video that captured the exact moment when the explosives that the Portuguese artist uses in his work – destroyed in the form of creation. The video was filmed usingslow motionadvanced, including 2000framesper second, which offers a unique experience and perspective on Alexandre Farto's unique creation process. “Rupture” is part of META_VS: A CRYPTO ART EXPERIENCE IN 3 METAVERSES, an action by BEYOND THE STREETS that aimed to promote the artistic community on the blockchain through exhibitions, piece releases, exclusive artist collaborations and conversations on ClubHouse and YouTube.Vhilshas been using everything from scalpels and chisels to drills, jackhammers and even explosives to destroy crumbling walls, revealing the realistic faces of local and often disenfranchised residents. Now the artist has passed this message on to NTFS, being the first experience in Portugal with these cryptoassets.