Portuguese street artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, is known for transforming old, worn down walls into incredibly lifelike, ephemeral portraits. The artist’s unique form of sculpture relies on chipping and scraping away at the walls of old buildings. The result is a variation of colors and textures that form faces out of the positive and negative space.
This past summer, Vhils created three site-specific portraits staring out at passers-by along the streets of So Miguel in the Portuguese Azores. The project was part of the Walk & Talk public art festival, an annual event that brings together international artists to fill the island of So Miguel with contemporary work.
The event website explains that Vhils’s portraits are “carved into bare walls that explode (literally) and recreate and renovate derelict spaces.” Ultimately, his seemingly destructive process actually provides local improvements, humanizing the space and leaving residents with unique and enjoyable artworks.