ABOUT

1945: Larry Smart born in Beckenham, South London


1950s: Larry grew up in Baghdad where his father was an oil company executive and he was exposed to the geometrical forms of Islamic sacred art


Early 1960s: Larry studied at Croydon Art College where Bridget Riley was one of his tutors.


1966: Larry danced with Exploding Galaxy at the UFO Club in Tottenham Court Road. Exploding Galaxy were a dance troupe named after a painting by Larry of the Malwiya minaret in Sammara Iraq that represented the spiral nature of the universe, they would dance in a free form style that inspired a more relaxed form of dancing among the nascent hippie crowd. Both Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine were house bands at the UFO Club and dancing took place between and during their sets.


1967-1973: Larry lived in St Stephens Gardens in Notting Hill with Carol Grimes


1967: Their son Sam Smart was born


1967-1968: Larry created the iconic silk screen images of John Lennon ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’, Jimi Hendrox ‘Fire’, Bob Dylan ‘Liquid Light’ and Frank Zappa (still unrecovered).


1969-1970s: Larry painted various commissions, gloomy landscapes and mandalas. Two of his mandalas helped to pay for food at Baba Bel-Poori, an Indian vegetarian restaurant in Porchester Road, London W1.


1970s-80s:Larry was commissioned to paint people’s country houses.


1971: George Harrison commissioned Larry to paint a trompe l’oeil at the end of a hallway in his Friar Park mansion.


1973-1982: Larry lived in Moscow Road, W2 with new partner Karin.


1976: Larry designed and painted the Atomhenge set for the Hawkwind tour.


1983-2005: Larry lived in Green Lanes, N16.


1988-2005: Larry went on a life changing trip to Morocco with Craig Sams and Jordan Reynolds (doorman at UFO). Larry fell in love with Marrakech and went back on a regular basis and started painting Moroccan scapes, selling through the Mamounia Hotel. This resulted in commissions from ex-pats who had restored riads. Larry spent three months a year in Marrakech making sketches and painting and then returned to the UK to complete some paintings.


1990-1999: Whole Earth Foods, run by Craig Sams, commissioned Larry to produce designs which were used for their packaging.

 


2005: Larry Smart died


2014: Publication of ’99 Balls Pond Road: The Story of the Exploding Galaxy’ by Jill Drower


2017: ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ featured on the front of the V&A’s exhibition book of ‘You Say You Want A Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-1970’ and Larry Smart’s ‘Hendrix – Fire’ featured within the exhibition.