Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, recognised for his visual poetry is currently showcasing his highly anticipated exhibition, ‘Dissonance’ at Lazarides Gallery that runs until 23rd April. Dissonance explores the ever-increasing erosion of identities within contemporary urban societies, and speaks of how individuals are shaped into abstract personalities by the overpowering force of city life, becoming lost to the dissonance caused by the chaos of technology, visuals and mass media.
A complex reflection of the factors that shape us into who and what we are, and losing ourselves to the visual noise that surrounds us, the show dissects urbanised life through the composition of metal, wood and billboards. Similar themes are expressed in styrofoam dioramas that show the process of mutual shaping that lies at the heart of the relationship between the city and its inhabitants.
“I first saw Alex’s work back in 2007 and was totally floored. Here was this crazy Portuguese kid, doing these mad portraits on the street by chopping out bits of walls. It was one of the most innovative techniques I’d ever seen. It has been a pleasure to see how much he has come on from those early days to his most recent museum show in Lisbon. Long may it continue.” Steve Lazarides
Farto has been exploring the subject of the urban environment under the name of Vhils since his days as a prolific graffiti writer in the early 2000s. An avid experimentalist, he has been developing his concept of the aesthetics of vandalism within the media, from stencil painting to wall carving, and pyrotechnic explosions to 3D modelling. Farto’s carving technique which formed the basis of his Scratching the Surface series, presented in Lisbon in 2007 and London’s Cans Festival in 2008, has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the street in the last decade.
27th March 2015 – 23rd April 2015-03-29
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Lazarides, 11 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HR
Words: Sarah Jones