Continuing through May 5, 2012
Influenced by the Japanese culture of cuteness, the artist known as Buff Monster borrows characteristics of the lovable, non-threatening and desirable, then mixes them with narratives that reference aspects of American popular culture. Think Hello Kitty meets Rock and Roll and you have a recipe for a successful line of collectable toys and highly sought after prints. The main proponent featured throughout the exhibit is a stylized cycloptic ice cream cone complete with arms and legs that is rendered with airbrush in a number of quirky and funny settings.
The most memorable, entitled “The Coned Crusader Pierces a Demon,” clearly plays off the superhero Batman, who is known as the Caped Crusader. Instead of a dark and menacing hero this character is donned in the color pink, which apparently symbolizes his confidence. However this adorable character has just slain an equally cute demon that has been deflated as though it was a balloon. A bit of blood oozes out from the punctured wound, yet none of the grotesqueness is felt when it's packaged in this manner. A particularly interesting set of paintings by Buff Monster are displayed in the upstairs gallery. They reprise the infamous Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. A well known gross-out item that mocked the sincerity of the wildly popular Cabbage Patch Dolls – Buff Monster again uses this language to eradicate that which was intended to shock and turns it into something desirable.
Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2012