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Scratching the surface

The artwork

Located in the Jardins de l'Arche, a stone's throw from the Ieseg, the work that Vhils created for Paris La Défense is part of his emblematic project entitled "Scratching the Surface", which 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 depicted. The artist's ambition is to call out to passers-by and to humanize the neighbourhood.

The artist

Alexandre Farto, alias Vhils, is a Portuguese street artist from Lisbon. Known worldwide for his singular works, Vhils leaves his mark on the walls of urban wastelands by engraving the material. Through a game of "chiaroscuro", and using techniques that are often very surprising (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 suggests perfect technical mastery and immense artistic talent. His works 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.