Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is a famous visual artist from Portugal. Mostly known for his highly unorthodox mediums in art: he carves, drills, and blasts to expose the layers in materials. By using all those techniques, he is removing layers in order to reveal the beauty in his art. He simply calls it “creative destruction."
Vhils believes that we are all composed of layers upon layers of social and historical fabric. Our social system is the product of similar layers and by eliminating some of the top layers; we may be able to accomplish a more pure form. His work is not overtly political, although he has his issues with globalization, preservation, and history. This striking form of visual poetry is showcased around the world in both indoor and outdoor settings.
His gallery works consist of peeling away layers of posters from city billboards, etching on metal, or carving into the cork, to create abstract composites. Vhils’ large mesmerizing faces sculpted into the exteriors of buildings from Lisbon to Los Angeles have captured the attention of city dwellers and the international art community while his gallery works are scooped up by collectors.
Vhils' groundbreaking bas-relief carving technique – which forms the basis of the Scratching the Surface project and was first presented to the public at the VSP group exhibition in Lisbon in 2007 and at the Cans Festival in London the following year –, has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the streets in the last decade.