Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (b. 1987) has been interacting visually with the urban environment under the name of Vhils since his days as a prolific graffiti writer in the early-to-mid 2000s.

His groundbreaking bas-relief carving technique – which forms the basis of the Scratching the Surface project and was first presented to the public at the VSP group exhibition in Lisbon in 2007 and at the Cans Festival in London the following year –, has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the streets in the last decade.

This striking form of visual poetry, showcased around the world in both indoor and outdoor settings, has been described as brutal and complex, yet imbued with a simplicity that speaks to the core of human emotions. An ongoing reflection on identity, on life in contemporary urban societies and their saturated environments, it explores themes such as the struggle between the aspirations of the individual and the demands of everyday life, or the erosion of cultural uniqueness in the face of the dominant model of globalised development and the increasingly uniform reality it has been imposing around the world. It speaks of effacement but also of resistance, of destruction yet also of beauty in this overwhelming setting, exploring the connections and contrasts, similarities and differences, between global and local realities.

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. He was particularly inspired by the way city walls absorb the social and historical changes that take place around them. Applying his original methods of creative destruction, Vhils digs into the surface layers of our material culture like a contemporary urban archaeologist, exposing what lies beyond the superficiality of things, making visible the invisible and restoring meaning and beauty to the discarded dimensions buried beneath.

Since 2005, he has presented his work in over 30 countries around the world in solo and group exhibitions, site-specific art interventions, artistic events and projects in various contexts – from working with communities in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to collaborations with reputed art institutions such as the EDP Foundation (Lisbon), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Barbican Centre (London), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), or the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego), among others. 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.

His unique approach and artwork have been garnering critical acclaim around the globe.

In The News

Notable Sales

Despite being relatively new to the NFT space, Vhils has already achieved great success in the market with his 1/1 artwork Hint selling for 15 ETH (~$31,045). His physical pieces are wildly popular as well – His Pentimento Special Edition book/print sold 291 editions at 1400 Euros each, totaling 407,400 Euros or $484,838 USD. His physical originals typically sell within the $30,000 – $50,000 range and prints generally in the $5,000 range.

Mishap 6, 2018 by Vhils, sold at auction for €37,700
Decrease 02, 2014 by Vhils, sold at auction for €52,000

The Drop

BEYOND THE STREETS presents Alexandre Farto aka Vhils digital block chain collection. Vhils started on his path in contemporary art at an early age with a fascination of graffiti and writing his name – but he was compelled to further experiment with this ephemeral act and develop a deeper pictorial language within public spaces. Through a passion for exploration, Vhils has created one of the most unique visual languages of his time, literally breaking boundaries with his bas-relief carving techniques. Vhils brings this energy into the digital space with a collection of works created with explosive charges to reveal intricate portraits on the wall, forever capturing the exact moment of transformation. From initial detonation to existence these artworks are created in only 2000 frames per second and only through slow motion capture as a digital NFT can these works exist and be experienced in this analyzed perspective.

See even more of VHILS new work in META_VS: A CRYPTO ART EXPERIENCE IN 3 METAVERSES, APRIL 5-10, 2021. 50+ Artists, 30+ Galleries Bridging the Traditional and Digital Art Worlds



Editions: Open Limited Edition
Pricing: $488

*Artworks will be available for purchase for 15 minutes only from 3:30 – 3:45 PM on April 10th



Editions: 10
Pricing: $1,999

*Final Edition will be auctioned


Editions: 10
Pricing: $1,999

*Final Edition will be auctioned



Editions: One
Pricing: Accepting Offers Only

*24 hour auction will ensue once reserve price is met

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