Interview with VHILS

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (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 2000s. His groundbreaking carving technique has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the street 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, expressing the struggle between the aspirations of the individual and the demanding, saturated environment of the urban spaces he lives in, highlighting and exposing the sombre dimension that lies behind the current model of development and the material aspirations it encompasses – unsustainable, yet inebriating. An avid experimentalist, he has been developing his notion of the aesthetics of vandalism in a plurality of media – from stencil painting to wall carving, from pyrotechnic explosions to 3D modelling – which have enabled him to expand the boundaries of visual expression.

Hi VHILS, today you selected for MoW several of your artworks inspired by music. Could you tell MoW more about the artworks. What was the music behind the artworks? 

In one way or another, all of them are influenced by music. But the three videos I did with explosives (“Detritos #1”, “Detritos #2”, and “Detritos #3”) with the same footage I used to produce the music video for Portuguese band Orelha Negra's track “M.I.R.I.A.M.” in 2011, were directly influenced by this sound.

Watch the video here

Here are some stills from the explosions 



Why is music important to you and your art?

I've always been very close to and connected to music. It's always been around me. I find it both relaxing and inspiring, it enables me to create.

Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by music?

Yes, one is on the way, you'll be able to hear about it soon.

Do you listen to music when you’re working? If so, what kind of music?

Always, and almost anything. From Orelha Negra to Bobby Womack, from Buraka Som Sistema to DJ Shadow, from Chopin to Carlos Paredes, from Diplo to Chullage, from Snoop Dogg to Lee Fields...

What is the song you liked the most lately?

The latest by Lee Fields "Faithfull Man".