VHILS - Dissection
Electicity Museum, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
Alexandre Farto (1987), who also signs as VHILS, has developed a unique visual language based on an aesthetics of vandalism derived from his background in illegal graffiti. He works the removal of the surface layers of of walls and other with non-conventional tools and techniques, establishing symbolic reflections on life in the urban context, the passage of time and the relationship of interdependence between people and the surrounding environment. His groundbreaking carving technique has been met with critical acclaim. Since 2005 he has been presenting his work around the world in solo and collective shows, events and institutions, and site-specific interventions and projects. He has also taken part in some of the most prestigious contemporary urban art and projects.
This is VHILS's first solo exhibition in a museum and the most extensive display of a career which, albeit recent, has already gained a foothold on several continents. VHILS's work has developed from a historically marginalised context (indeed, in decline since 1970) which holds a special political and socio-economic significance : the "South Bank", on the left hand-side of Tagus, the riverside dormitory and industrial belt that sprang up across from Lisbon. He was born and bred there, and there he studied and developed an artistic conscience which makes him, in his work, both highlight and unite the people with the territory, the images with the abandoned architecture, the works created with the materials of those memories of time and a place of work and life. The suffocating urban space and its suffocated citizens, or the reverse of urban glamour, are always present in an oeuvre where the faces as a type of "portraits", in a global identity card of the underprivileged and the rebellious, true protagonists of VHILS's work.
Source: Dissection exposition leaflet presentation.