Painter to Porto - Portugal
Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (b. 1987) has been interacting visually with the urban environment under the name of Vhils since his days as a prolific graffiti writer in the early-to-mid 2000s.
His groundbreaking bas-relief carving technique – which forms the basis of the Scratching the Surface project and was first presented to the public at the VSP group exhibition in Lisbon in 2007 and at the Cans Festival in London the following year –, has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the streets in the last decade.
This striking form of visual poetry, showcased around the world in both indoor and outdoor settings, has been described as brutal and complex, yet imbued with a simplicity that speaks to the core of human emotions.