Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (1987) has been carving a unique path in the international urban art scene. He started interacting with the urban environment under the name of Vhils as a graffti writer in the early 2000s. He was deeply infuenced by the transformations brought on by the intensive urban development Portugal underwent in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 2006 he joined the renowned Vera Cortês Art Agency, which led to several collective shows and his first solo exhibition in the same year. He moved to London in 2007 to study at the University of the Arts (Central St Martins College of Art and Design). In 2008 he took part in The Cans Festival, where his groundbreaking carving technique – which forms the basis of the “Scratching the Surface” project – was first presented to an international audience and was met with critical acclaim.
He has been presenting his work in events, solo and collective shows and site-specifc interventions around the world ever since. An avid experimentalist, he has been developing his aesthetics of vandalism in a plurality of media – from stencil painting to wall carving, from pyrotechnic explosions to 3D modelling – expanding the boundaries of visual expression. Vhils currently works with Vera Cortês Art Agency (Portugal), Lazarides Gallery (UK), and Magda Danysz Gallery (France and China). He is represented in several public and private collections in various countries. Find more about his work.
Vhils accepted the challenge to name his first thought when thinking about …
#1. Favorite spot for inspiration
Vhils: Quimiparque in Barreiro (where I have my studio) and the old Lisnave shipyards in Almada.
#3. The unmissable with 30 minutes in Lisbon
Vhils: Crossing the bridge on the Fertagus train into or out of Lisbon and visit Montana Café in Cais do Sodré
#4. Porn dream food
Vhils: Portuguese seafood
#5. Best way to spend 2,00€ in Lisbon
Vhils: Try a delicious croissant at Careca in Restelo (TD: pastry shop which original name is Restelo but commonly known by the locals as Careca)
#6. Influential leader to seat next to you on a flight
Vhils: Preferably no one so I can have the extra legroom
#7. Hotel to live for the rest of your life
Vhils: None. I’d rather live at home
#8. Portugal on a plate
Vhils: Bulhão Pato clams (garlic, olive oil, coriander and white wine sauce)
#9. Perfect spot to travel within Portugal
#10. Most used expression in Portuguese
Vhils: Obrigado (thank you)
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