Since 2005, Australian artist Buff Diss has been adorning city sidewalks, trains, and industrial buildings through his unconventional use of tape – expanding upon the more traditional forms associated with street art. His body of work incorporates a variety of styles and subject material, from contour drawing and geometric shapes to intricate portraits of mythological figures. Despite the impermanent nature of the chosen medium, the artwork itself leaves a lasting impression on those who are fortunate to see it.
The artist’s emphasis on placement, attention to detail and involvement of his environment leads to interactive pieces that come alive not only through their surroundings, but also the people who get caught up in them.
In a 2013 interview with Fast Co.Create, Buff Diss shared that the switch from using paints to tape as his main form of expression was purely accidental. “I’d meant to use it as a tool, but then I saw the lines of tape were drawings on their own–it saved a lot of time,” he said. The artist also revealed that he rarely sketches out his work before creating it, explaining that he “enjoy(s) the directness in finding a space and responding to it without a piece in mind.” However, recently Buff Diss combined tape and drawn elements for his installation at the Two Wrongs dive bar in Melbourne. The artist was inspired by Dürer’s Inferno series, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures cover art and background scenery from Street Fighter II:
Buff Diss also recently collaborated with fashion photographer Tess Everett for a series inspired by the Shakespearean character Ophelia. Titled Ophelia’s Rest, the series features models posing amidst an urban landscape filled with hypnotic, graphic patterns and floral details designed by the artist with his favorite material. “The series pulls the viewer through the aesthetics of bliss and madness,” Buff Diss’ blog reads, “forcing the question – was Ophelia’s tale one of tragic submission or defiance?” View photographs from the series, as well as more of Buff Diss’ recent projects, here.
Photo by Tess Everett