Etching a mural into a wall with explosives

Aleandre Farto's explosive etching technique involves precision detonation of plaster and brick to make enormous, smoky murals. This video, with music by Orelha Negra, demonstrates the technique.

Orelha Negra - M.I.R.I.A.M. X Vhils (Thanks, JonGilbert via Submitterator!)


  1. um, sure thing, joncro. let’s take our mind out of the gutter and focus on the OTHER explosions. to wit: HOW THE HELL DOES HE DO THAT? is the explosive applied to the surface or embeded in the wall material? there is no sign of either method. and what kind of explosive is used? or is the surface shot with a type of gun on a robotic tripod?

    his website is no help. no surprise he wants to keep it secret, i suppose.

    i, for one, am amazed.

    1. If I were to guess, I’d say that he probably affixes carefully measured bits of explosive to the bare wall in the shape that he wants to end up with, then plasters the whole surface over. I saw a couple wires flying off during the video, which I assume carried the charge to set off the explosive. I figure the explosive bits are underneath the plaster to cut down on the smudging and burn marks you’d get if the charges were on the surface.
      Anyway, that’s my theory, as someone who has absolutely no experience with this sort of thing.

    2. You can see wires dropping from some of them so maybe a small home made type explosive with a detonator?

  2. Shape charge explosives were invented because some guy noticed voids in explosive charges etched metal.

  3. Yeah, that’s really not healthy for the wall, cool and all but there’s a reason the plaster is there and the walls aren’t half an inch shallower… He should have stuck to paint.

  4. looks like he used ‘squibs’. they are commonly used in the movie industry and can be tailored to suit any purpose. I expect he used these – surface mounted or cut into surface, then etched out the outline with a stanley blade, quick bit of paint over the top and the squibs are made to be set off using a remote control. They are quite cheap so I don’t suppose it cost much, but is very effective and original.

  5. Same as the comment above. Cai Guo Qiang has done this already… but on large paper murals. Guess this has depth going for it.

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