Australia-born muralist Smug One uses walls and structures across the world as canvases for his vivid portraits. Whether it’s his own family members, friends, or pop culture figures, Smug subverts the typical texture and lighting of mural art with his figurative pieces. The artist moved to the U.K. and settled in Scotland a few years back.
On his origins in mural work: “I originally started out by skating and hanging out on the streets at night with a group of mates just being kids and writing our names on walls and listening to hip-hop,” he said, in an interview with London Street-Art Design Magazine. “Graffiti was very much a part of that culture, so it all came together.”
The artist says his moniker doesn’t have a specific origin story he can share. He first tag at the age of 10 was “smart,” but later, the “smug” descriptor seemed to fit better.