Vhils, the rising star of street art who creates by destroying

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Portuguese street artist Alexandre Farto, understandably better known by his professional pseudonym, Vhils, is one of the rising new stars in the genre. He uses explosives, power drills, acid and lasers to create his stunning sculptures of human faces on city walls (photo), and to peel back the coatings of urban facades to reveal the past painted underneath. The astonishing results have earned the 25 year-old international recognition from both art critics and his peers, notably Banksy and JR with whom he has worked on co-signed creations. Hugo Vitrani caught up with him during a recent show of his works in Paris, and followed him, video camera in hand, as he carved his marks on the Paris cityscape.

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Walls, posters, wooden doors, you name it: Alexandre Farto aka Vhils will pry the urban surface open and make his mark. With acid, lasers, explosives or a powerdrill. Along with his three bearded and tattooed accomplices. “I create something by destroying it,” he says in a nutshell. So whilst passing through Paris earlier this summer for his first solo show at the Magda Danysz Gallery, the street artist went right ahead and carved his signature portraits into a few Parisian walls. With smashing results, as you can see: