Known for his photo-realist graffiti work, Smug, or SmugOne, aka Sam Bates, is a contemporary graffiti writer and muralist with immense skill. Using nothing but spray cans, he has been able to gain mastery over the difficult task of creating highly technical figurative pieces that retain that edgy, cheeky, and playful side of traditional graffiti whilst embracing more established elements of figurative fine art. Traditionally, photo-realists have a lot of time on their hands, warm quiet studios and work with tiny brushes with precise movement. These are the three things that no one in graffiti culture generally has at their disposal, and yet, some of them, Smug being the perfect example, are able to create amazing large-scale road-side murals that look like they could be photographs, there isn’t a compliment of greater significance for any artist working in this field.
Born in a small Australian town about three hours from Sydney, Smug now lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.