Hardcover | 21.77 x 3.02 x 29.08 cm | 264 pp
Editions Gallimard | 2014 | 9782072570193
This is the first monograph in English of the Portuguese artist, Alexander Farto - aka Vhils.
The artist's aim, in carving portraits of anonymous persons on the degraded walls of our modern cities, is not only to give a second life to these abandoned mural supports but also to bring to light the rough treatment of ordinary citizens by a society progressing at a fast speed and leaving them out.
Formerly a graffiti artist, he began working into walls rather than just using them as supports for paint. He uses chisel, jackhammer, even some explosive devices, to successively reveal the various strata hidden under the surface of the wall and generating human figures hollowed or in relief.
Vhils also works indoors using metal, wood, polystyrene or cork, testing out a new technique each time, like laser scraping the 'crust' of layered advertising posters for the purpose of creating strange palimpsests from which urban shapes and human faces appear. All in all, Vhils's work is here to make visible the obvious and less obvious links existing between a city and its inhabitants, and to express the need of preserving, in 'the sound and fury', what makes us human beings.
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