Artist Creates Street Art By Destruction

Some of Vhils creations imitate old grainy, sepia-toned photographs that mostly belong to photo albums of yesteryears. The only difference is these ‘photos’ are mostly etched on the walls of buildings that have been created by destruction. Today, his amazing street art adorns many streets, buildings and art galleries.

Vhils creates portraits that convey a powerful message and his tool for creation is destruction. In an interview with, he explains, “I like to use destructive means to create artwork that’s meaningful and poetic, mostly portraits that can humanize the often-oppressive public space that we find in our cities. You can think of stenciling that creates a symbolic window that helps reveal what lies hidden beneath the surface of things. It’s a work of subtraction and exposure.”

When Vhils was 13, he was already an illegal graffiti maker, influenced by where he grew up. By 17, he had turned a vandal by his own admission. He started out by carving billboards in the streets of Lisbon and turned them into art. Since his younger days, he has remained practical, walking the thin line between thinking and doing. According to him, the more you think, the less you do.

Vhils creations are gaining recognition the world over. His solo show ‘Ethereal’ was displayed inside Wynwood Walls in the GGA Gallery in Miami, Florida, USA, the first solo show in this gallery. It consisted of 24 of his works. In his home country too, he presented his work titled ‘Olhar’ (Gaze) to the head office of Portuguese newspaper, ‘Publico’. This work consists of 25 superimposed acrylic sheets that form a composition with an eye in its center. The art represents 25 years of the publication and displays clippings from 25 of the daily’s most significant front pages.

Vhils aims at making things better with his art, the reason why he loves to take them apart. His focus on destroying to create has given him a unique identity as a street artist. He credits the internet for the recognition he enjoys today. On Instagram alone, he has a viewership of over 360,000 followers.

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At a time when so many questions are being raised worldwide in relation to identity, borders, unions, etc., I came across this image of John Londragan (left) taken in Spain during the civil war, where he was helping the fight against fascism. Alongside other Aberdonian dock workers, Londragan also helped Spanish seamen fight for better living and working conditions back in the 1930s. His story stands to symbolise that we are stronger when united, pushing for a better future for all. I wanted to make this old pic almost develop itself on an old wall in Aberdeen, allowing the past to resurface – reminding us that we should keep it in mind as it can tell us so much about the future. Thanks to my team, @nuartfestival team and Aberdeen for such a warm reception. – #vhils #alexandrefarto #alexandrefartoakavhils #scratchingthesurface #unearth #nuart #nuartfestival #nuart2019 #nuartaberdeen #aberdeen #scotland #publicart #streetart #urbanart #arteurbana #contemporaryart #artecontemporanea #arte #art

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