smc3 is a hardline street artist, who’s been adorning the walls of inner city sydney for years. his works are a flourish of esoteric symbolism, geometric calculations and bizarre characters from alternate realities. if you’ve walked the laneways of sydney, you’ll definitely be familiar with his paintings and his stickers will have caught your attention. smc3 collaborated with powder at the time of his upside-down underground exhibition in surry hills last year and has since held a joint exhibition with artists nico and ox. of late you can catch his works springing up on the walls of cafes and restaurants around the city.
interview with i.t.a.

check the smc3 gallery

smc3 welcome back to powder. we’ve come across some of your newer pieces and were especially taken by your work on mary st, newtown.

mary street was one of the first, nice big production walls by "the night".
an artist collective of three artists OX, NICO, and SMC3.
on that wall i introduced a new character 'the elephant',
an icon in the next part of the smc3' philosophy.

what are you working on at the moment? how was your last exhibition and have you been decorating any walls of establishments of late?

im releasing the meanings of symbols and icons… slowly in parts.
at the moment, im working on the next part of the philosophy, part 4,
explaining the symbols and imagery of - identity, time and memory.
my latest wall is at marlows way, sydney, showing tribal patterns forming
a half face of the rat (mainstream) and the elephant (memory/time) together as one (identity).

what dragged you out onto the streets to create in the first place? were you always a street artist or did that come later?

apart from drawing underground comics and posters in early days,
street art without permission was my first "announcement' of publicly showing art.
i first enjoyed the anonymity.
street art was dirty and done without permission.
no deadlines, no concept approvals, no post-grads".
anti-all art establishments.
it was also aggressive. to put up art in society's face and force people to see it,
this takes a lot of passion, personal and legal risk, just to show your art. selfless.
street art is a respected and accepted art form.
i consider it a vital important part of a city culture,
a personality, a language, a message on walls like ancient cave painting.

your imagery with its striking shapes - the pyramids, the serpents, the tongues – and its vibrant colours seem to be speaking of something beyond the purely aesthetic. can you elaborate on this for us?

"smc3" imagery is a philosophy of symbolism.
every icon, every character and word has an exact meaning,
relating to each other to create a story, a philosophy or theory on life and society.
part one was released last year.
this year i will release part four.
part two and three are not missed, they are just not ready,
and will be added in at later time…
eventually all parts will make one grand scheme theory.

your art is so original and arcane, what inspires you when creating a new piece? and from there, what’s the process you follow?

ideas and theory's seem to be coming to me in subconscious,
like teachings or guidance from a higher power.
i start with sketches… procrastinate for weeks or months until they clarify.
i look to influences from a library of favourite artists and imagery.
i like to use ink on paper, or aerosol on walls, and are now looking to go
abit more expressive with brush/sponge and acrylics on timber.

in your opinion what is the role that street art plays? what does it do for the community and on a personal note, what does it do for artists?

street art is an expression, an opinion of society from artists who live within it.
it can be a reaction to what you dont like about a city,
or a contribution to what you do like about an area.
it adds a personal touch to hard walls, and organic lines to square hard edges of a city.
in rural areas the shapes of mountains, trees, sunlight and the horizon are admired.
in a city the street art is admired…

do you see street art as evolving in anyway? what do you see as the future for street art?

more walls are becoming accessible, which is making a broader spectrum of more artists,
and more idea's and creativity. murals are getting bigger! whole walls are being used,
not just the standard 8 foot high production. bigger walls are making artists look for different paint methods, like buff fills, popping or rollers for line work. the future of street art is going bigger, bolder and expressive.

who influenced you when starting out? and for you, who is the godfather/mother of street art?

my first influence was the 60's psycadelic comic movement of artists like Rick Griffin and Robert Williams. early street art influence was the simple bold 'seen easy from a distance' almost vector lines of Dface, London police, Flying fortress, Supa kitch, Yok and Reka. im influenced by a lot of indigenous or tribal art like aztec, native american indian and japanese black and white dry brush. right now i like Dexta the wierd, Osogrow and chris yee. i think the ever strong super funk, imagination and skill of Jersey joe/Rime has much respect as a godfather.
*this question could go on for 20 pages with all my artistic influences!!

who’s capturing your eye on the Sydney scene at the moment? which artists are a must to catch?

chris yee!

you’ve started up a collective with fellow inner west sydney artists nico and ox. what’s that all about?

two artists, who are both inspirational and motivational.
we have been painting alot together and have a lot of similar ideas and direction,
and influence. we are about to concetrate on some good tight mashing collaborations.
stay tooned...

and on a lighter note what does smc3 do to unwind? what do you get up to when you’re not spraying those walls?

i like to go surfing, get some fresh air, try some tricks. trips away out of the city, get some ideas, and let thoughts pop into my head...

what will be occupying smc3 as we move into twenty fourteen?

writing part 4' of the smc3" philosophy.
working on fresh ways of making an exhibition piece. new art and sculpture.
i have launched a very humble t-shirt label- muckrat
painting walls, surfing, and an over sea's trip or two...

smc3, always a pleasure to catch up with you. we look forward to passing your new works in the alleyways and catching them on the walls of inner city establishments. cheers.

thanks for the chance to give some insight behind the images… cheers

check the smc3 site