The exhibition at Galerie Magda Danysz functions as a project room for the work presented at Le Centquatre-Paris. In this sense, it works as a complement to the latter but based on a more condensed version of the overall reflection. It features a unique installation with carved walls on the ground floor, while the first floor includes a new body of works in cement alongside a sample of new works in various media.
Vhils, whose real name is Alexandre Farto, started painting graffiti at the age of 13. During the 1980s and 1990s, Seixal, the industrial suburb of Lisbon where he grew up in, had undergone an intensive development process that profoundly affected the city. Reflecting these changes, the city’s walls had witnessed the superimposition of political murals, advertising posters, graffiti and other media, each expressing its own ideas and ideologies. Searching for a new approach that could interact with what the city had to offer, Vhils shifted his practice from graffiti to one that carved into these surfaces directly, using them as a new medium. Based on the stencil technique, the young artist started to carve shapes and lines, from which faces and the walls’ past emerged. From then on, he was to carve his giant figures around the world, from his native Lisbon (where he still lives today) to distant locations such as São Paulo, Los Angeles, Sydney or Hong Kong.