Vhils' first solo show in the UK, ‘Scratching the Surface’, features a series of new works inspired by his native city of Lisbon at a time of revolution, a time when walls turn into instruments of communication and hope for the masses, the remnants of which become a decaying playground for this young artist as he searches for his place.

By contextualising the urban setting he explores and questions its many dimensions in a series of playful works. Focusing on the people that inhabit his multicultural environment he draws attention to the layers that underlie it. Vhils has created a set of portraits of unknown faces using unconventional techniques and materials; acid and bleach eat into surfaces to expose layers beneath, and the act of destruction becomes an act of creation. Posters that exemplify a consumer society are subtly converted into objects, poignantly celebrating humankind.

In his street work he discards posters, metal and paper and comes face to face with the rawness of the naked wall. He continues his celebration of the humanity underlying theurban canvas, this time by scratching beautiful portraits directly onto its walls.

Lazarides | 11 Rathbone Place | London | W1T 1HR
Show runs from 3rd July to 1st August

The exhibition will coincide with the launch of his new book: Scratching the Surface, which will be released shortly after the show opening.