Scratching the Surface
While graffiti typically sees materials added to walls, the distinctive work of Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, sees art created by chipping away at the urban surface. He projects an image onto a wall, paints over the silhouette, and then uses hammers, drills, and other tools to carve the portrait into the building. His work has the uncanny effect of creating the illusion that it’s revealing what was already there—stripping away the layers of time and material to reveal the innate humanity at the core of our urban landscapes.
In conversation with the Creators Project, Vhils explained that the process of excavation is as important, if not more, as the resulting image. He says it is tantamount to delving into the folds of history, and is “aimed at expressing and representing the search for an essence lost under those layers.”
[Top Image: A piece by Vhils in Moscow]