Sydney-based artist, SMC is kind of old-school. His head-spinning characters and artwork draw influence from skateboarding, anarchy and cartoons. We caught up with the mad bomber for a quick quiz, ahead of his entry into this year’s Sidewayz skate and snowboard art event…
Your art’s pretty tripped, what gives you the ideas for your characters?
I get a lot of influence from 60’s, 70’s & 80’s surf, skate & punk comics and art, the characters are mostly trippy, cartoony, monster-based funk and ooze.
More jump off after the jump off
Do you always try and convey some kind of message with your work, or is it just about flipping stereotypes and spinning people out?
Recently, there is a definite method to my icons and images. I’m working on a theory involving ‘the underground’ rising into ‘the mainstream’ (rat race). All my latest images are diagrams to explain this (180 degrees theory). Part 1 of the theory, ‘upside-down underground’, will be released later this year…
You get up quite a bit in Sydney, what’s the closest brush with the law you’ve ever had?
Had a few chases and got away… But, caught once, stupid, very drunk trapped on a third story pub roof with big bouncers at one end and a butch lesbian at the other end, throwing away milk crates, which I used as a ladder.
What’s your best bombing story?
A roof top, again. I set off the alarms on my way down, ducked into a lane as security turned up and got away clean – the piece is still there 4 years later!
How did you develop your style?
Drawing for most of my life, looking at other favourite artists techniques, painting and self-learning. But, then, also ignoring everything I know to develop something completely original.
Have you got any favourite old masters in the art world? Or any living heroes?
Flying Fortress!!! A German-based street artist/writer who got me into street art/ illustration and is still a major influence. I pride myself on turning any object or idea into a character. Fortress does it in tight, clean lines, with funk and pop!
Is there any crossover to ‘fine art’ for you, or do you just love getting up?
‘Getting up’ is a form of showing your art, commissioned or illegal. I do have an interest in trying to loosen my style, into something more expressive with less or no lines. It will still stay cartoony and comic-based.
What’s your best secret about Sydney?
Dressing as a council road worker in a flouro yellow & orange vest, actually makes you invisible when being somewhere you shouldn’t be…
What do you think of the Sidewayz show?
Like all good group exhibitions, it has amazing art all in one room, using a deck as a common canvas. Skate decks do look as good, or better, flying and grinding.
Tell us about your Sidewayz board…
It’s an image from the ‘180 degrees theory’, called ‘ersatz rapture’ (false joy). Cheese is in the form of a snake. Rats in the rat race chase the cheese (money), hypnotized by the trance of the snake, SSSS$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…
See more of SMC’s artwork here: www.smc3.net
Check out the Sidewayz show here: www.sidewayzart.com.au