Walls - scratching the surface
February 10, 2011 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Wall scratching as an art form. Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) is a Portuguese street artist living in London. This is his art project called “Walls – Scratching the surface”. He makes impressive portraits by scratching the surface of old walls in Moscow, Rome, London, New York and Portugal. posted by nickyskye (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This is really cool! I never heard of this form of art before and yes, some very impressive work. Thanks for posting it!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:27 PM on February 10, 2011

Beats what I managed on the primary school desk! Excellent stuff, thanks for the link, nicky.
posted by Abiezer at 12:24 AM on February 11, 2011

This is incredible stuff.
posted by bayani at 12:53 AM on February 11, 2011

This is incredible stuff.

Yes, yes, yes. This is just something completely different, utterly amazing, and truly beautiful.

Thank you.
posted by Ahab at 5:44 AM on February 11, 2011

Hmm. His art is incredible, no doubt, but as someone who is deeply committed to preserving historic structures, I have a hard time supporting this kind of street art. While some of his work appears to be on already ruined buildings and structures, some of it is carved into walls that seem to be in pretty good repair. The bottom line is that a masonry wall needs a good outer "skin" to prevent moisture from getting into the wall and destroying it from within, and some of Vhils's work seems to be removing significant portions of that outer layer and revealing internal surfaces of the wall that were not intended to be exposed to the weather. I hate seeming like a "get off my lawn" kind of fuddy-duddy, but I hope that this artist is (or maybe can become) sensitive to the potential for permanent damage that his work can do.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Given the scale of these projects along with the video of him standing out in broad daylight chipping away at plaster, I have to guess he's got permission for these works? Anyone know for sure? Maybe I missed it in the links. It must take him many noisy hours to do one of these. They're beautiful.

I love European street art, the way the artists often fit their work into the city rather than being overlayed on top of it like a bomb. The way stencils are placed in discreet, inoffensive places creating a sort of natural picture frame. The best work fits nicely in the context of where it is while also not being vandalism.

Paris is particularly fantastic this way. Some neighbourhoods like Belleville have become enormous outdoor galleries. The works are not exactly legal, I'd guess some 80% are unauthorized, but they enhance the city. It's a long way from the illiterate sticker bombs and acid etching bullshit vandalism that's all over the US.
posted by Nelson at 6:52 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

some of these faces look like they don't want to be there....
posted by daisystomper at 8:50 AM on February 11, 2011

Wow, I am glad I saw this. So cool.
posted by Xoebe at 10:51 PM on February 11, 2011

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