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Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils has been interacting visually with the urban environment since his early days as a graffiti writer in the early 2000s. He grew up in Seixal, an industrialized suburb of Lisbon, and was deeply influenced by the transformations brought on by the intensive urban development Portugal underwent in the 1980s and 1990s. He moved to London in 2007 to study at the University of the Arts (Central St Martins College of Art and Design). In 2008 he took part in The Cans Festival, where his groundbreaking carving technique – which forms the basis of the “Scratching the Surface” series – was first presented to a wide audience and was met with critical acclaim. He has been presenting his artwork in festivals, solo and collective shows and site-specific interventions around the world ever since.

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