Vhils book and print releases

Italy Vhils

And Vhils is back on top in my book. Man has he been busy. First, the work he’s done at Truman Brewery here in London. Then his work at the Fame Festival in Italy (photo above). Now, he’s got a super limited edition book being released and some new hand worked prints at Lazarides. In the gallery, prints are what I think Vhils does best, so a new print from him is always exciting to me. Here’s some info from Lazarides about the prints and his book:

As the hugely successful “Scratching The Surface” exhibition by Vhils (aka Alexandre Farto) draws to a close at our Rathbone Place gallery this Saturday, the action moves to our Greek Street Shop this coming Friday, the 31st of July, with the highly anticipated release of a rather special edition of our favourite Portugeezer’s first book and 3 new hand-finished prints for Lazarides.

Featuring a lazer-cut front cover, the full colour, 80 page, 28 x 22 cm, hard-back book ‘Scratching The Surface’ is also signed by the artist, is strictly limited to only 100 copies worldwide, and costs £45.

Vhils has also been hard at work hand-finishing 3 new prints for us, and we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be making available 10 variants of each edition to be displayed at our Shop on Greek Street from 10 am this Friday. Each print is from an overall varied edition of 30, measures 70 x 49.5 cm, is signed by the artist, and available to purchase at £350. Whilst both the book and prints can be ordered by calling the Shop on 0203 214 0055/0066, those buying in person have the advantage of being able to select their favourite version and take it home right there and then.

Vhils print

Vhils at FAME Fest

Just a quick note to show off one of Vhils’ pieces for FAME Fest. There is something quite ethereal about this work, which was made by scratching the plaster off a wall in the old part of Grottaglie. Great placement for it, too.



Vhils is also working on some gallery pieces while he’s in town for the exhibition at the festival’s conclusion.



Elisa x

Vhils – Scratching The Surface

Can we all just agree that the very best work at the Cans Festival was Vhils? That would make this whole thing a lot easier. Vhils completely surprised everybody there by literally taking a jackhammer to the walls of Leake Street. So then he released a couple of prints at Pictures on Walls which sold out instantly. They are beautiful and the bleaching technique is different from what anybody else is doing. Occasionally, there would be original work from Vhils available through Lazarides or at a gallery in Portugal. People loved his torn poster portraits and city-scapes. When Lazarides announced a Vhils solo show, it was cause for celebration. That show, “Scratching The Surface,” opened on July 3rd.

Vhils Laz

Now, I wasn’t in London for the opening, but I made sure to visit the gallery as soon as I got back in town.


The show includes a few different kinds of work from Vhils. First of all, there are his wonderful installation pieces that are carved into a temporary wall that has been installed in the gallery. These are probably his most iconic and identifiable works (check out this cool video of Vhils chiseling them). Then there are his almost as well known ripped poster portraits. These two styles take up more than half of the show. Although I like these works, there are just too many in this show.


The above piece was my favorite of Vhils’ ripped poster style, and I think it was one of only 2 of that style in the room it was in. Maybe it is a coincidence, but I think that maybe this style just doesn’t work well when you see a lot of them at once. They just don’t seem as well. I also like the drips on this one and the way it looks much more like a natural occurrence than some of the other paintings.

Then there were the pieces carved into wood.


They looked beautiful, and there were only a couple, so I’m still eager to see more. I think that’s the way to do it. Now I’m excited to see where Vhils takes this style in the future.

Another style I’m looking forward to more of are the pieces on metal.


They remind me of Vhils’ prints, and have a nice 3D look to them while, ironically, the actually 3d carving and ripped poster pieces look very 2d.

I think that the user “Irony” on the WallKandy forums sums up this show very well: “One of the few examples where the art in pictures looks better than the ‘live’ art. Although I see plenty of potential there (technique, variety of material used, skills), it just doesn’t work well in the gallery. Too clean and deliberate. And the mostly portrait theme of the show doesn’t help either. However one of the better artist out there.”

I like the portrait style, but would have liked to see more of Vhils’ cityscape pieces mixed in, and Vhils definitely has talent, I’m just not sure he quite compares to some of the other artists having solo shows at Lazarides just yet. After seeing the show, I suggested on twitter that maybe it could have been better as a two man show. Maybe I would be more excited about Vhils’ new work if there had been half as much, because then it would have been varied, and only the better half of this show would have been on display, and that better half is definitely worth checking out.

Although this post has been a bit critical of Vhils, I have to say that that some of my favorite new pieces of art for the past year have been Vhils’ prints, and I would urge people to check out his latest print release at Pictures on Walls, which is still available.

Photos from WallKandy

Last Weekend in London – Black Rat Press and Laz Rathbone

Let me be the first to acknowledge that, seeing as I spent the weekend in Los Angeles, I am the last person who should be writing this post. That said, RJ himself would have done a fantastic job covering the London shows that just opened so I feel there needs to be at least some mention of them on his blog.

Below are a handful of images from Ways of Seeing (Swoon, Matt Small, Brian Adam Douglas) at Black Rat Press and Scratching The Surface (Vhils) at Lazarides Rathbone. All photos come courtesy of Ian from Wallkandy.

I was very excited about the show at Black Rat, and, as expected, the three artists delivered a strong body of work. Matt Small’s multi-paneled piece is amazing (sorry, no picture! Go to Ian’s flickr!) and I’ve heard particularly good things about Brian’s pieces from those who saw them in person. My only disappointment was that, although the space was beautifully lit, the show lacked the installation component I had been hoping for.

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Matt Small
Matt Small
Brian Adam Douglas
Brian Adam Douglas

Now to Laz, where Vhils’ London solo debut simply looks incredible. As if it weren’t already obvious, Alexandre has now made it clear that he is going to be a very important artist for our generation.

vhils alexandre farto

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vhils alexandre farto


New Lazarides Rathbone Place Gallery


It’s finally open. The new space for The Lazarides Gallery at Rathbone Place in London opened last Thursday for their latest group show called “Grow Up.” I went to, and tweeted, the opening, but I’ve waited to do a proper post on the show because it took until today for me to get back when it wasn’t so crowded.

As usual, Lazarides puts on a good show. Even though they seem to have lost their #1 star, Lazarides reminds us that it wasn’t just The Banksy Show over in SoHo. Vhils, JR, Faile, and many others are doing great work there too.

Two giant pieces by Vhils are impressive and I definitely enjoyed them, but almost too big to fully appreciate. You get close enough admire the craftsmanship, and you lose the image, you get far enough away, and the image is clear but simplistic. Hopefully his upcoming solo show (July I think?) will have a range of sizes.


As always, the work from JR was absolutely gorgeous. I can’t say enough good things about the best photographer street artist. There was even one piece from his recent trip to Africa where he pasted his work into trains.


This piece is probably old, but it’s a nice Faile and a bit different:


Of course, there was plenty more interesting work from artists like Invader and David Choe (among others), but one worth mentioning in particular is Charlie Isoe. Isoe is the newest artist as Lazarides. All I know is that he’s from Australia and paints very well. This portrait of Marilyn was my favorite. Yes, his work is a bit like a combination of Anthony Lister and Antony Micallef, but umm… okay let’s just ignore that bit for now.

Charlie Isoe

While I enjoyed “Grow Up,” I’m just glad to see Lazarides finally in a space fitting of the gallery’s importance, and I look forward to the solo shows they have lined up for later in the year.

Photos by WallKandy/Ian Cox

Scrathing the Surface video by Vhils

Vhils is a street artist really taking it to the next level. His portraits and city-scapes actually involve taking a jackhammer to the wall. He’s just put online this beautiful video called “Scratching the Surface.” It shows how he creates his work, and is well worth watching.

For more work from Vhils, check his website. Also, he has work in the current show at Lazarides Gallery (and a solo show coming up there later this year), and he’ll be at the Fame Festival in Italy.

Great In ‘08: Grafter Says…

This is part of Vandalog’s “Great in ’08” series, which will be running every day for the rest of the month. Check out previous posts here. Street artists from across the world have been offered one post to “gift” to one artist that they feel has been doing great work recently. Today it’s Grafter‘s turn (on a completely unrelated note, I hope to see some of you at the opening of Urban Angel‘s Art Lounge tonight, where Grafter will have some work for sale).

Who is one artist doing really great work right now?

There is a lot of great work going on at the moment and some fantastic shows being produced on a regular basis. The recent Eelus show at Electric Sheep was outstanding and some of the work displayed showed, I felt, a real change in direction for a well established artist who could easily have stayed within the comfort zone of his previous work but was brave and confident enough to explore new avenues within his work and show us all a much darker approach to his art.

An artist I have kept a close eye on and have been impressed by his recent efforts is K-Guy. The “Love Hate” print was of outstanding quality and showed a massive step up from “Lislam” which I felt was rather weak. The installations he left around the City of London after that were very nearly a stroke of genius.

The artist I feel that is busting everyone out of sight at the moment though has got to be Vhils. The piece he did at the 1st Cans festival, where he chiseled the image out of the brickwork of the wall, was innovative, fresh and helped to breathe new life into the portrait genre. In amongst the real big hitters of the scene he managed to completely steal the show and I couldn’t wait to see how these works would translate to paper/canvas. The 2 paper releases he issued through POW were simply stunning and the technique of forcing bleach through the screen to the image was again an innovation that helped to make it a whole lot more than just a simple screen print.

The 2nd time at Cans he showed us another new technique were he peeled layers of posters off of a billboard to reveal the layer underneath and produce an image from the different colors of the revealed posters. A truly innovative and creative artist who obviously enjoys exploring various mediums and techniques in order to produce class imagery.

Vhils at Cans Festival. Photo by RJ
Vhils at Cans Festival. Photo by RJ

See more photos after the jump…

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