Portrait of Siobhan Bell

“I really like to feel that every creation proceeds an act of destruction. Even when you write a poem you destroy the white piece of paper, the white piece of paper destroys the tree, and the tree destroys. There is a cycle of destruction. So, for me, destruction is not always a negative thing”- Vhils

The Festival Iminente came to London this October 2018, taking the soul of Lisbon to the heart of London. Founder and artist Vhils collaborated with Underdogs at the Old Truman Brewery in London in order to create a bridge between subcultures, hosting both Portuguese and International art and music in an incredible, immersive experience.

The festival hosted a line up of extraordinary acts from Fatboy Slim, who collaborated with artist Vhils to produce a 180-degree screen of visuals and sounds, to other DJ’s and artists from both Lisbon and London, bringing urban influences together in a veritable subcultural mash up.

Vhils’ breakthrough came in 2008, when he produced a portrait next to a work by Banksy at the Cans Festival in London, gaining international acclaim

Pushing the boundaries of what street art is, Vhils excavates the walls of cities around the world. An “urban archaeologist”, who strives to make the invisible visible in homage to the city.

Breaking down the surface layers of walls, the celebrated building blocks of the city, Vhils unearths the carcasses of everything that the city is founded on and everything that came before; plastered advertisement on top of other advertisement, chunks of billboards, guarded fragments of brick and cement. His art is the wonderful mixture of old and new, ruin and creation. And although torn apart and seemingly destroyed, the histories carried within these walls are transported to the forefront of what we see when we look at Vhils’ constructed and deconstructed faces.

This year as part of his aptly named Scratching the surface project, Vhils produced a portrait of hip-hop artist Siobhan Bell for the Festival Iminente in London at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London.  Created from plaster and taking two days to create, Vhils was inspired by an artist who displays a unique style and whose music inspires and connects with what the Festival Iminente and sponsor Hennessy stand for.

Created on July 14, 2023
152c Brick Ln, London E1 6RU, UK
Hunted by WayfaringStranger.
Pictures by Alen Duspara.

Marker details

Camera usedApple iPhone 13
Marker typeartwork
CountryUnited Kingdom