Thanks to my friend Beth I have learned to admire the work of the Portuguese street artist Vhils and searched out his work when I was in Lisbon – there is not much as they keep pulling down the buildings he uses!
This artist started by etching into the external walls of large commercial buildings and creating giant faces in the process. No idea how he does that especially given the size of the works. So I was very pleased to find five new works of his at Wynyard Walls which he did for the 2018 Art Basel event and equally pleased to find a solo exhibition of his work on different media including paper and incredibly polystyrene!!
His original works in a nearby Carpark that I saw last year.
These are the new faces on the wall plus faces using the medium of paper.
And finally, who knew you could create with polystyrene?
My time in Lisbon is coming to an end so I managed to squeeze in a street art tour that took us all over the city – Lisbon is right up there with Melbourne, London and NYC as a street art venue. Although it helps to have someone take you around to find the art.
These are from the Bairro Alto district and include one by Obey (who designed the Obama poster used during the first election campaign)
The first picture depicts the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974 when the dictatorship started by Salazar after the war was overthrown. A very important period for the Portuguese people. The madonna depicts a struggle which has also been a key part of Portugal’s history – the separation of religion and the secular world.
These almost photo quality artworks are of Amalia Rodrigues and a chap whose name I don’t remember – they were both idolized Fado singers (I have become a bit of a fan of Fado while here) and they lived in the Graca area where these are. The one on the bottom right is about the boat refugees (check the image in her glasses). And I love the unknown fado singer in red with her classic lace shawl.
Now here is a brilliant idea. Give good street artists access to a floor in a parking garage and let them do their thing. It makes the place so much more interesting and far less menacing than most car parks and there are plenty of white walls for them to work on – obviously at night only when the cars are gone.
The one at the bottom is another well known street artist from Portugal – Vhils – whose work I saw at Wynwood Walls in Miami earlier this year. This work is done with tiles rather than the etching he is famous for.
Farewell Lisbon, I’m going to miss you.
Next stop Crete.