Scratching the surface

The artwork

Located in the Arche Gardens, a stone's throw from the Ieseg, the artwork Vhils created for Paris La Défense is part of his emblematic project entitled Scratching the surface. This project has already led him to create large-format frescoes on the walls of some thirty countries. Two anonymous faces harmoniously complemented by geometric motifs are shown. The artist's ambition is to call out to passers-by and humanise the neighbourhood.

The artist

Alexandre Farto, alias Vhils, is a Portuguese street artist from Lisbon. Known worldwide for his singular artwork, Vhils leaves his mark on the walls of urban wastelands by engraving the material. Through a game of "chiaroscuro", and by means of often very surprising techniques (jackhammer, chisel, stonecutter's hammer, explosive, acid, etc.), Vhils degrades the walls to generally reveal gigantic faces, sometimes those of local residents, whose quality of features reveals a perfect technical mastery and immense artistic talent. His artworks have the strength of a B&W photograph, where contrast and light make the depth of wrinkles, the hairy detail of a beard, the intensity of a glance, the weight of time more intense.