Vhils Pays Tribute to Healthcare Workers by Chiseling Portraits Into Hospital Wall

Mural by Vhils at the University Hospital in Porto, Portugal

Portuguese street artist Vhils is paying tribute to his country's healthcare workers the best way he knows how—with a mural. In Porto, 10 members of the São João University Hospital Center's staff had their portraits chiseled into the wall by the acclaimed artist as a way to celebrate the contributions of Portugal's national healthcare workers.

Though the mural has been in the works for over a year, the timing couldn't be better. Given the great sacrifice that these workers gave during the coronavirus, it seems only fitting that their portraits—appropriately masked—should be revealed at this time. As it was impossible for Vhils to portray everyone who works in the hospital, he chose a cross-section of doctors and nurses as well as the administrative staff, food services, and maintenance workers who make things run smoothly.

“The piece is an acknowledgment and a heartfelt tribute, on my behalf and on behalf of the Vhils Studio team,” shares Vhils, “to all those who are on the frontline, of both the present pandemic and everyday healthcare, for the importance they hold in the lives of every one of us. It is a commendation of the courage, dedication, and selflessness with which they place their lives at risk in the defense of our own.”

The grouping of portraits not only creates a visual frontline but also speaks to the teamwork and camaraderie found within the hospital. This beautiful symbol sits at the front entrance of the hospital, as a warm welcome to those who enter in a wish that they find comfort under the care of these workers.

Street artist Vhils created a striking mural celebrating healthcare workers in front of a hospital in Porto, Portugal.

Healthcare Worker Tribute by Vhils at Hospital in PortugalMural by Vhils at the University Hospital in Porto, PortugalPortrait of Frontline Healthcare Workers During Coronavirus by Vhils

Using his signature technique, Vhils chiseled and drilled their portraits into a wall.

Street Artist Vhils Working on Mural at Porto HospitalStreet Artist Vhils Working on Mural at Porto HospitalStreet Artist Vhils Working on Mural at Porto Hospital

The mural is a tribute to the dedication of Portugal's national healthcare workers, particularly during the pandemic.

Healthcare Workers Mural at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Portugal by VhilsHealthcare Workers Mural at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Portugal by VhilsHealthcare Workers Mural at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Portugal by Vhils

Vhils: Website | Facebook | Instagram

All images via Expanding Roots. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Vhils.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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