Our next stop is a short walk away at Wood Street, Fitzroy, where Smug, one of the most respected photo-realistic painters, has completed an interesting mural. Smug’s twisted realism is unique and instantly recognizable whilst the volume of his work is globally prolific. Just from this piece alone, it is clear that Smug is a perfectionist ,as his heavy line work and meticulously rendered characters leap out from the wall. Do you notice how the beard begins on his chin by blending into the natural cracks of the wall? I also love how Smug finds creative ways to imbed his name into his pieces. What do the blocks say?
This work has already been capped by the graffiti writers Hits and Bird, part of CBD crew. Thus this mural was not coated in any protective agent. Remember at last stop that Nost (a prolific Melbourne graffiti writer) had also left his tag on the garage door beneath Phibs’ own name?
Although tags are viewed so negatively by the general public, they are the organic expression of street art and so important to the scene. Melbourne’s commercialization of street art has led to artists being able to leapfrog graffiti writers who have worked for years to gain reputation but whose work is not as socially acceptable. What is your opinion on graffiti writers capping large murals?