Vhils New Book, "Pentimento", Documents Two Decades of One of the Most Innovative Artists During the Era
"To me, the importance of the reflection I've been working on over the years lies mainly in knowing where we came from, in order to avoid past mistakes," Portuguese artist VHILS told us in his feature in our Spring 2020 Quarterly. "This is an oversimplification, of course, and the idea is not really to force people to look back, but rather find the time to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around them today, to pay attention to the moment, to who we have become and how, to try to look beyond the glitzy facade of the global model of socio-economic development we follow, focusing on the deep shadows it casts on human beings around the world."
This feels like the perfect sentiment as VHILS just released a major monograph, Pentimento, documenting two decades of the artists innovative work in the streets, museums, galleries and site-specific projects. The 608-page tome is such a comprehensive look at the artist's career that it feels like an art piece unto itself, as well as reflection of the growth of graffiti and street art around the world. Pentimento means, in Italian, "repentance," As the Underdogs, Vhils gallery arm, notes, "In the context of painting, the term refers to traces left by artists beneath the layers that form a !nal work, revealing earlier, dismissed stages that correspond to changes made during the creative process. In the context of Vhils’ oeuvre, the title plays with the artist’s practice of revealing by way of removal or erosion that which is symbolically found buried beneath the surface layers of the media he works with."
There are 3 editions of the book: an unsigned version, a special edition of 300 with artist print, and an artist proof edition.