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By Benjamen Judd
Sydney’s cityscape is a fascinating one – it often doesn’t know what to do with itself, and this is only exacerbated by councils that seem to fluctuate between preserving the past and then blowing it up in the name of progressive space. The end result is a city that sits somewhere between decay and excess – a perfect metaphor for the QT really. And this is also why makes it the perfect backdrop for the latest street-art exhibition from Portuguese-born graffiti/street artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils.
His exhibition, Dissolve, takes place in one of Australia’s oldest urban zones, the Rocks. It is a commentary on the deterioration of human individuality due to globalisation and excessive urban development.
Rather brutal in its depiction of of civilization in modernity, the work is a series of large-scale portraits of random individuals which have been painted on brick walls, wooden doors and other urban surfaces. Farto has then chipped and scraped at the work, literally scarring the surface of both the building and the face in the painting, marks that represent the changing nature of urban societies. The rubble that sits at the bottom of each hard-surfaced work symbolic of the irreversible wounds globalisation has bestowed upon the people and their culture.
Farto has also made sure that Dissolve exists as a unique exhibition to Australian audiences through the inclusion of environmental activist Jack Mundey, whose face is publically plastered on a nearby brick wall. Mundey campaigned to protect the built and natural environment of Sydney from excessive and inappropriate development and has become a powerful icon.
VHILS: Dissolve is on now at Hickson Road in the Rocks, Sydney and will run until Saturday, 6 April.
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