On my way to the LX Factory, I came upon one of Alexandre Farto’s (also known as Vhils) works. This Lisbon native is famous for his Scratching the Surface project, which showcases his ability to “uncover” art under urban spaces through carving, drilling, chiseling, etc.
His wall portraits are the most alluring for me because of their scope in size and poetic expression. I love that instead of a spray can, he chooses a hammer to shape existing surfaces to create such intricate works of art. Amazing.
Next time I go to Lisbon, I will have to go on a vhils-hunt through the city.
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Found: Bairro Alto & Chiado.
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One of my favorite pastimes is indulging in documentaries on topics ranging from art/artists to social awareness to crime investigation. My first post on this with an older (but still very good) list is here. Below are some recent recommendations.
Requiem for the American Dream (2015) is a narrative by Noam Chomsky, a respected intellectual and philosopher. His insights are deep yet digestible and current. He takes us through a historical look at where the illusion of the American Dream originated and how it’s evolved (disintegrated) over time with “the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few”. With the state of current events (both in the US and globally), I think this documentary is a must-see and especially relevant today. [Available on Netflix]
Finding Vivian Maier (2013) is an INCREDIBLE documentary about a street photographer in the guise of a professional nanny who gained notoriety completely by accident – of course long after she had passed. Someone found 100,000+ negatives of her work at an auction house and decided to try and figure out who this remarkable collection of art belonged to. The film is a compilation of interviews with those who knew her, although I use the phrase “knew her” lightly as it seems no one truly connected with this mysterious figure, only mere pieces of her. [Available on Netflix]
O.J.: Made in America (2016) is a five-part documentary that gives us more insight into the overall political climate during the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson’s legacy. The incredible build-up of white vs black america is helpful in providing a larger perspective around the infamous O.J. trial and why it affected society as much as it did. And with the recent ascent of the “Black Lives Matter” racial justice movement, I would say this series is relevant today. [Available on ESPN & Hulu]
Happy Valley (2014) is a heartbreaking piece about Penn State’s grapple with what has been exposed as a national epidemic of sexual assault on university campuses. What makes their story unique is that the scandal centered around football coaches Jerry Sandusky and Jo Paterno, both god-like figures in the community. Another illuminating (and infuriating) film to supplement this is The Hunting Ground. We have to bring light to and stop these unthinkable, deplorable acts from happening to our friends, family and community. [Available on Netflix]
Under The Sun (2015) is a beautifully shot documentary with the full permission (and positioning of) the North Korean government, following the daily life of a young girl living in the DPRK. Although the scenes are obviously not 100% authentic, it’s interesting still to glimpse into the everyday lives of the elite few, who have it pretty “good”. [Available on Netflix]
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