October 19th, 2010

I feel, as an architectural conservationist, its almost blasphemous to be so in awe of the art by Vhils (aka Alexandre Farto); but really, can you blame me? Of all forms of modern art, I find street art to be the most approachable. It makes a statement, it makes sense, and sometimes, it even makes a new use of garbage. Vhils makes art by chipping away the surface of a facade, removing layers to reveal the people and life of his home city, Lisbon. His hauntingly beautiful faces look out from sheets of reclaimed street posters, billboards, scrap metal, paint, and acid. I know I shouldn't say this, but I think his raw, poignant portraits are perfectly suited to the decaying urban fabric he seeks as a canvas.

Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics

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