Alexandre Farto aka Vhils was born in Portugal in 1987. He was raised in Portugal, during a period that was deeply affected by the revolution. The Carnation Revolution of 1974 affected Lisbon and other parts of Portugal. As a youth he witnessed the destruction and results of violence on the walls of the city and recognized how that affected an environment.
He studied at the University of the Arts in London, Central Saint Martins and Byam Shaw Fine Art Skills and Practices. He gained prominence when his work of a face carved into a wall appeared alongside a picture by street artist Banksy at the Cans Festival in London in 2008. Subsequently a photograph of him creating the work appeared on the front page of The Times thus launching his street artist career. Vhils was later given space to show his work by Banksy's agent, Steve Lazarides. Several of his works were published in 2008.
One of Vhils most popular forms of media is his relief portrait. He creates portraits, which are chiseled into plaster and brick walls globally. He also utilizes dissected advertisements and excavating walls. In addition to these non-traditional forms of media he also works in collage, wheat paste, wood, metal, installations, and more.
However primarily, Vhils is known for using etching acid, bleach, pneumatic drills, and other processes or street art tools to reveal a wall’s layers. “This entire process is very symbolic and he takes it as a semi-archaeological
dissecting of layers of history and culture.” He speaks to society through is construction of ruins. Revealing layers of importance that otherwise go unseen.
Vhils currently lives and works in London and Lisbon.
To see Vhils' current projects, check out his website here.