Bart Smeets Urban Artist

Introducing Bart Smeets

Smates’ (his nickname) urban art is so realistic and awe-inspiring that it looks like it was captured by a nature photographer, but somehow, this artist manages to capture such iconic natural beauty using spray paint alone. His artwork truly conveys the sense of magic that is inherent in the natural world around us, and often examines the relationship between wild or domestic animals and people. 

Some of Smates’ images almost have a magical or fairytale-like essence to them. They’re enchanting, with incredibly bright, vivid colors that stick memorably in viewers’ minds. 

“Inspirations for his works he finds in the surroundings where the wall is located or the form of the wall. He is trying to create something that fits the wall or tries to play with depth, 3D illusions.”

Indeed, Smates teaches us that art in public places can give viewers something much more important than just imagery. These pieces contain beauty, but they’re also a window into another part of the Earth that’s easy to forget in urban settings.

The bright, unique energy in Smates’ work is certainly something never seen before.


His Story

He was born in Belgium, in a city near Brussels called Asse. Smates studied graphic design at university, with a focus on realistic drawings and paintings. At the age of 17-18 he began doing street art, but took a long break and only continued in July 2009. He has been a full time street artist since September 2013.

Amazingly, Smates works only with spray paint to contain these detailed, realistic, larger-than-life paintings. Because of his preferred subject matter, these urban artworks are great for parks, schools, zoos, urban centers or anywhere that you would like to bring the wonder of the natural world into the street.