“Lobster Pot” by Smug One in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Smug One

In a city like Belfast, murals have been used as political statements and propaganda. During the conflict known as “The Troubles”, the region’s religious divisions found in the street art the medium to express an active protest. Since then, a lot has changed and a new generation of artists has occupied the walls creating a vibrant street art scene and completely changing the look of the city. One of the most representative pieces of this new wave of murals is an astonish portrait realised by Smug One. Sam Bates known as Smug One is an Australian street artist based in Glasgow, Scotland, recognised around the world as one of the masters of Photorealism. Using the photograph as starting point, this technique recreates the images with an incredible accuracy. Smug One begins with photos but he distances himself from the perfect reproduction of them, adding his personal touch. Light and shadows are used to make his portraits alive, pushing the boundaries between painting and realism. Bright colours and captive details give to his murals a bizarre and surrealist atmosphere. In Belfast, Smug left his mark on High Court Street featuring a chef while he is removing a lobster from the pot and he is about to serve it. Looking at the street level the chef seems to turn its gaze to us, as we can be part of the scene.

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