Fractal: By Alexandre Farto AKA Vhils

4 February - 9 April 2022
  • FRACTAL Fractal, the first solo exhibition by Portuguese visual artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils in Spain, converges a diversity of...

     

    FRACTAL

     

    Fractal, the first solo exhibition by Portuguese visual artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils in Spain, converges a diversity of historical and geographical contexts, intertwined with burning contemporary ideas and preoccupations. 

    Revealing a wide range of pieces, some of which have been created using new mediums and techniques developed over the last two years – in the midst of a world taken hostage by fear and uncertainty – it is the product of profound introspection and perhaps one of the few advantages to surface from the abrupt interference of recent events: time. Time to think, to experiment, to interpret, to create.

  • Among these works emerges the use of a completely new material by the artist, immersed in tradition and historical significance: a series of tile panels that represent a clear nod to a shared cultural heritage between neighbouring countries, and the specific legacy of Lisbon-based tile-making, which traces its origin precisely to the city of Seville, over five centuries ago. 

     

    Yet, while the materiality of this exhibition celebrates the proximity, connection and relationship between two nations, its themes reflect the tempestuous and conflicting sense of angst that has engulfed our individual and collective psyche. As the name itself suggests, “Fractal” (from the Latin frāctus, meaning broken or fractured, appropriated mathematically to designate fractional dimensions and geometric patterns in nature), begins with an allusion to the linear nature of time and history, and ends with a profoundly divergent understanding of the present.       

               

    These pieces possess a uniquely energetic intensity that tears apart our pre-conceptions of humanity as a whole, as well as our individual understanding of self. Like the installation obtrusively cut into the structural gallery wall, they carve an unavoidable fissure that forces us to re-examine the human condition, which now, more than ever, is in dire need of transformation. 

     

    Thought-provoking and riddled with contrast, “Fractal” intersects the tangible memory of history with the diluted volatility of our current reality. Weaving convention with the disruptive force of contemporary intervention, it shatters the solace provided by a consensual understanding of the past with the anxiety provoked by the uncertainty of the future. 

     

    The exhibition forces us to surrender our self-perception, look within and create a new sense of identity and truth: a process embodied by the torn derelict sheets of the billboard pieces, or the piercing transparency of the epoxy resin works, with their superimpositions of three-dimensional assemblages cutting through our layers of simulated bravado and false security.  

     

    By questioning linearity, with “Fractal” Vhils creates a deconstruction that can be acutely uncomfortable. However, it is also an act of creation, a carving out of space: for difference, for novelty, for evolution. A direct confrontation with who we are, and, more importantly, with who we are about to become.

     

  • Viewing Room

    • Scape Series #01 - Sevilla, 2022 Vhils
      Scape Series #01 - Sevilla, 2022
      Vhils
      € 39,000.00
  • About Vhils

    Lisbon, Portugal, 1987.

    "Vhils is a Portuguese artist who constantly innovates with new techniques and approaches to his art. Much of his work is created in situ and focuses on the transitory nature of the city, its history, and the lives of its inhabitants."

    Tristan Manco, in The Guardian

     

    Portuguese visual artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils has developed a unique visual lan- guage based on the removal of the surface layers of walls and other media with non-conventional tools and techniques, establishing symbolic reflections on identity, the relationship of interdependence between people and the surrounding environment, and life in contemporary urban societies, as well as the impact of development, the passage of time, and material transformation. Having begun to interact with the urban environment through the practice of graffiti in the early 2000s, Vhils has been hailed as one of the most innovative artists of his generation. His poignant, poetic portraits chiselled into flaking walls can be seen adorning cityscapes around the world. Based on his aesthetics of vandalism, Vhils destroys as a means to create. He carves, cuts, drills, etches and blasts his way through the layers of materials. Yet, like an archaeologist, he removes in order to expose, bringing to light the beauty that lies trapped beneath the surface of things.

                       

    Since 2005, he has presented his work in over 30 countries around the world in solo and group exhibitions, site-specific art interventions, artistic events and projects in various contexts from working with communities in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to collaborations with well reputed artistic and museological institutions such as the EDP Foundation (Lisbon), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Barbican Centre (London), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), or the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego), among others. An avid experimentalist, besides his groundbreaking bas relief carving technique which forms the basis of the "Scratching the Surface" project, Vhils has been developing his personal aesthetics in a plurality of media: from stencil painting to metal etching, from pyrotechnic explosions and video to sculptural installations. He has also directed several music videos, short films, and one stage production.

                       

    Vhils works with several leading galleries, including Vera Cortês Gallery (Portugal), Lazarides Gallery (United Kingdom), Danysz Gallery (France and China), Delimbo Gallery (Spain) and Over the Influence Gallery (Hong Kong and USA). His work is represented in several public and private collections in various countries.

  • Among these works emerges the use of a completely new material by the artist, immersed in tradition and historical significance: a series of tile panels that represent a clear nod to a shared cultural heritage between neighbouring countries, and the specific legacy of Lisbon-based tile-making, which traces its origin precisely to the city of Seville, over five centuries ago. 

     

    • Glaze Series #01, 2022 Vhils
      Glaze Series #01, 2022
      Vhils
      € 47,000.00
    • Glaze Series #02, 2022 Vhils
      Glaze Series #02, 2022
      Vhils
      € 47,000.00
  • About Vhils, Lisbon, Portugal, 1987.

    About Vhils

    Lisbon, Portugal, 1987.

    "Vhils is a Portuguese artist who constantly innovates with new techniques and approaches to his art. Much of his work is created in situ and focuses on the transitory nature of the city, its history, and the lives of its inhabitants."  Tristan Manco, in The Guardian    

     

    Portuguese visual artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils has developed a unique visual language based on the removal of the surface layers of walls and other media with non-conventional tools and techniques, establishing symbolic reflections on identity, the relationship of interdependence between people and the surrounding environment, and life in contemporary urban societies, as well as the impact of development, the passage of time, and material transformation. Having begun to interact with the urban environment through the practice of graffiti in the early 2000s, Vhils has been hailed as one of the most innovative artists of his generation. His poignant, poetic portraits chiselled into flaking walls can be seen adorning cityscapes around the world. Based on his aesthetics of vandalism, Vhils destroys as a means to create. He carves, cuts, drills, etches and blasts his way through the layers of materials. Yet, like an archaeologist, he removes in order to expose, bringing to light the beauty that lies trapped beneath the surface of things.                      
    Since 2005, he has presented his work in over 30 countries around the world in solo and group exhibitions, site-specific art interventions, artistic events and projects in various contexts from working with communities in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to collaborations with well reputed artistic and museological institutions such as the EDP Foundation (Lisbon), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Barbican Centre (London), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), or the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego), among others. An avid experimentalist, besides his groundbreaking bas relief carving technique which forms the basis of the "Scratching the Surface" project, Vhils has been developing his personal aesthetics in a plurality of media: from stencil painting to metal etching, from pyrotechnic explosions and video to sculptural installations. He has also directed several music videos, short films, and one stage production.                      
    Vhils works with several leading galleries, including Vera Cortês Gallery (Portugal), Lazarides Gallery (United Kingdom), Danysz Gallery (France and China), Delimbo Gallery (Spain) and Over the Influence Gallery (Hong Kong and USA). His work is represented in several public and private collections in various countries.

    • SHatter series #12, 2021 Vhils
      SHatter series #12, 2021
      Vhils
      € 25,000.00
    • Splitter series #15, 2021 Vhils
      Splitter series #15, 2021
      Vhils
      € 25,000.00
    • Shatter series #10, 2021 Vhils
      Shatter series #10, 2021
      Vhils
      € 25,000.00
    • Splitter Series #13, 2021 Vhils
      Splitter Series #13, 2021
      Vhils
      € 25,000.00
  •  

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