Observations People...Places...Events... Art
To most city-dwellers they are an eyesore, but to Vhils, peeling billboards and crumbling walls are things of beauty. The Portuguese artist, born Alexandre Farto, uses urban decay as his canvas - chipping away at plaster and slicing into advertising hoardings to create his eerie giant portraits.
Now 25, he started as a graffiti artist when he was just 13. By the age of 17, he had tired of the scene and started to look at walls in a different way. He found that they told the story of his country. "You'd have billboards selling goods pasted over utopian socialist murals from the 1974 revolution with graffiti on top," he explains. "The walls had got fatter over time and I thought of how I could use the layers to reflect the changing times. I started to carve into them. You find posters from 10 years ago, if you go deep enough. …