Larry Smart spent some of his childhood in Baghdad In the 1960s - his father worked for Shell.
In the 1960s his mandala paintings were verymuch of their time and George Harrison and John Lennon were collectors. The Baba Bel Poori restaurant in Porchester Road displayed mandalas which he exchanged for regular vegetarian Indian food.
His poster art of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and John Lennon have become collector's items.
He has held a number of solo exhibitions in England and his paintings are in private collections throughout the world. Commissions include a series of murals for former Beatle George Harrison and he has recently completed four paintings featuring British sporting themes for Sainsbury's Sherry labels. In recent years he has been a regular exhibitor at the RONA Gallery in Mayfair, London.
Since the mid 1980s he regularly visited Morocco. In 1988 he hosted a Marrakech visit by myself and Jordan Reynolds where we visited the riads and mosques and other buildings that he so carefully captured in his art. He read Jean Marc Castera's book 'Arabesques' on the mathematics of pattern creation in Islamic art and applied this in his paintings with incredible patience and attention to detail.
On a more commercial level he would capture the essence of people's homes and gardens in specially commissioned paintings. My involvement with him goes back to the 60s when he was a regular at our first restaurant. He created a number of paintings that were used for packaging illustration on Whole Earthproducts. Larry died in 2006.
Larry's paintings also adorned the record album sleeves of Delivery, a group that included Lol Coxhill and was fronted by the blues singer Carol Grimes (Larry's wife at the time) These were the mandala paintings that are now all in private collections.
Delivery played one of their first gigs at Seed Restaurant in 1969. Eventually members defected to Gong and Carol Grimes went solo
I have written further about Larry Smart on my blog here