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Facing the wall

Have a look at this piece I saw in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego last year. It’s by a Portuguese artist named Alexandre Farto aka, Vhils, and the exhibition was called Viva la Revolucion.

I was struck by the intensity of this woman’s gaze despite having been jack-hammered into the wall, she stares clear eyed right out at you. The scale of the piece is crucial in it’s impact, as is the brick dust and detritus from it’s construction. Swept neatly in front of the wall the rubble appeared to me not unlike those Buddhist offerings seen outside Thai restuarants, complete with little pots of rice and sweets in gold wrappers and fresh flowers fallen from trees. This however was an offering to the God of Post-modernism. A God that has allowed street art and all that should be considered anarchic and offensive a cosy place in our modern galleries.

Vhils is famous for his street art which consists primarily of portraits scratched into walls and collaging of advertising posters in the urban environment. I love the title of his 2008 show – Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat!

Here’s a few more examples of his work. They are very compelling.


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