Belgian street artist Bart “Smates” Smeets Photo: Facebook
Cape Town – Over the next several days, Capetonians will see the evolution of one of the largest public art murals, in Harrington Street in the CBD, this week.

Belgian street artist Bart “Smates” Smeets began the painting of his masterpiece on a 400m2 wall yesterday.

The mural will be an extension of - and billboard for - the third International Public Art Festival, hosted by NGO BAZ-ART, which takes place in Salt River - between February 9 and 17 - next year.

Smates began to paint an undercoat before he starts on the artwork.

“It is best that I do so in order to not have to explain too much about my vision, but also this is perhaps the only workout I get these days.

“My vision will be a bit surreal and will show a dog with an aviator hat, and his goggles will reflect the sky and other things,” said Smates.

He said that he lost a few days as he arrived late and will put in several hours, over the next five days, in order to unveil the artwork on November 11.

BAZ-ART co-founder and creative director Melissa Gucci said Smates’ art was very realistic and had surrealist aspects, which Belgium was known for.

“The piece Bart is creating will be colourful and playful, both in respect of the area and history of District Six.

“The location is not as visible as we would have hoped, as generally people are not used to public art, and that in turn is part of what we would like to change,” she said.

Gucci said that the NGO worked with property owners and tenants in order to secure the “landmark mural”.

BAZ-ART brought Smates to Cape Town, in collaboration with the Flanders Embassy in Pretoria and with Flanders State-of-the-Art in Belgium, said Gucci.

The mural reflects a vision for next year’s festival under the theme of “Generation Next”, which will feature a child, a dog and “aviation”.

BAZ-Art is working towards bringing Smates back to Cape Town again so that can create another artwork in Salt River next February, to coincide with the festival.

Visitors are welcome to see the creation in Harrington Street.

Cape Times