Vhils destroys to create. The Portuguese street artist who openly operates under his real name, Alexandre Farto, is internationally recognized in the forming of dramatic, oversized portraits made by carving directly into outdoor walls.Vhils grew up in Seixal, an industrialised suburb across the river from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and was deeply influenced by the transformations brought on by the intensive urban development the country underwent in the 1980s and 1990s.Therefore, the artistic process often involves industrial methods such as drilling and controlled explosions. The majority of the subjects in his artworks are anonymous and formerly unremarkable urban citizens. These people have in numerous occasions been described by the artist as common people who are being turned into icons to create a contrast this with the need people seem to have to create icons in the first place.
An avid experimentalist, Vhils has been developing his personal aesthetics in a plurality of media besides his signature carving technique: 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.