This week I am covering the Portuguese born, Alexandre "VHILS" Farto . Anyone who has driven down 5th Street in the last year has seen his piece up on the side of Mainstay Rock Bar. So before I go into him, I will tell you a few things that you may have not known about that specific piece. Credit goes to 5chw4r7z for the photo
1. His work is inspired by the faces of ordinary people in the communities he visits. The man in the piece is actually Tim Dwight, The president of Motch Jewelers on Main and Pike in Covington.
2. He was brought into town by Mike Amann of BLDG Refuge. A Gallery on Pike Street across the river in Covington. You can check out a guest blog post he wrote for us back in November here.
3. It took over 8 hours of jack hammering to create.
4. Vhils was just 24 years old when he put up this piece.
5. You can still buy one of his signed and numbered, edition of 30, hand embelished, laser cut wood prints made while he was in Cincinnati here. You should probably get one because it will be worth a bajillion dollars someday.
The thing that really amazes me is that few Cincinnatians realize just how important this piece is. Vhils is one of the most celebrated contemporary artists in the world. Europe is way ahead of the game in Street Art compared to America and across the pond he is hugely famous. He has been shown in Lazarides Gallery in London and was even allowed into China to do some murals, which I would imagine is a pretty rare occurrence. Plenty more pictures below and a stop motion video of him putting up the piece on 5th street.
Check out his wiki here
His website here
His Blog here
An interview with him here
A collaboration he did with JR in Los Angeles, CA