Born in Adelaide, he began his career as a painter showing the transience of buildings that have lost their role, as Hopper had done. The human element is rare, especially present to ensure the scale enhanced by the shadows of dawn.
From 1948 to 1951 he studied in Paris with Fernand Léger.
Without ever renouncing his Australian citizenship, Smart settled permanently in Italy in 1964, Tuscany has one of the most pleasant scenery in the world. Yet he imagines in that lovely place the buildings and factories of the future whose walls will be decorated in any style of abstract art.
Forgetting the past to observe the future, Smart, unlike Hopper, became a witness of his time.
His identifiable portraits are scarce and his self-portraits still rarer. On August 27 in Sydney, Deutscher and Hackett sells Self-portrait at Papini's, oil and synthetic colors on canvas 85 x 115 cm painted in 1984-1985, estimated AUD 700K.
Among a brilliant contrast of bold colors, abstraction is represented here by a big screen in two sheets in the Op Art style. On the left, the door of the workshop of the petrol service station, composed of blue vertical boards, demonstrates that art also lies in the most usual objects. The artist stands between both as if to express the artistic compatibility of intellectual movements and popular artifacts.