Studio Visit and Interview with Buff Monster
Located in the heart of Hollywood is Buff Monster’s secret lair, where he just wrapped up painting “Legend of the Pink Cherry”. This new series of paintings comprise his latest solo exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery, opening this weekend. For this show, Buff Monster contrasts soft pink ice-cream cone characters with an inspired demonic narrative. In this studio visit, Buff Monster shares with Hi-fructose the story behind “Legend of the Pink Cherry”. – Caro
What is the “Legend of the Pink Cherry” and how did this character come to be?
I’ve never done a set of paintings, or anything else for that matter, with a narrative. When I started painting the Buff Monster character like 11 years ago, I thought a little bit more about narrative than I have in recent years. Anyway, I want to tie together a lot of what I’ve been doing over the last 11 years and I thought this show would be the perfect time for it. I’m feeling complete about a lot of stuff I’ve done, and about my time in LA. So it’s about tying up the past and looking towards the future. Now that I have this new ice cream character, with arms and legs, I feel inspired to do all sorts of new and different stuff.
This exhibition is very different for you in terms of airbrushing the medium. How was it working with airbrush, and we will see a lot more of this in the future?
The airbrush is just a tool. It’s still acrylic paint that I’m using. I had a whole new concept for this show, and the airbrush really helped me achieve my goal. I’ve wanted to use an airbrush for so long, but it was working on the paintings for The Melty Misfits cards that made me finally get one. The original paintings for Garbage Pail Kids were done with airbrush and acrylic, so in staying true to form, I had to get an airbrush.
You are a longtime fan of Garbage Pail Kids (GPK) and credit this for inspiration in your trading cards series. Do you have a favorite GPK?
I have a lot of favorite GPKs. There really isn’t one single card, because for me, they make sense as a group. One card doesn¹t tell the story, lots of cards do. And for that matter, I have some favorites in the set of paintings I did for my card series, but there really isn’t one favorite.
In “Legend of the Pink Cherry”, you also take inspiration from Renaissance painting and darker themes such as the “Resurrection of the Flesh”. Did you do any special research for this show?
I really got inspired about the Renaissance when I was in Rome and London last year. The work I made for my last show at Corey Helford was loosely inspired by the Renaissance, but this show is very much based on the Renaissance. I just think it’s an amazing time in art history. In prepping for this show, I read a few books on the Renaissance and I had my own little internal Renaissance.
Any demonology or stories you came across that you never heard before?
There are so many good stories, I wouldn’t know where to begin.
If you were resurrected from the dead, how would you like to return? :-)
That is a scary thought. If I was resurrected in good shape, I could have some fun. But if I was decomposing, that would be really unappealing. For everyone.