Metalheads don’t always wear black; some prefer to don bubblegum pink. Enter Buff Monster, the street artist and recent Brooklyn transplant who flashes his artistic devil horns through murals of cotton candy landscapes inhabited by one-eyed ice cream monsters.
Since relocating to Brooklyn from Los Angeles in 2013, Buff’s been more than busy, with Number of the Beast, a joint show with L’Amour Supreme at Cotton Candy Machine, a feature in December’s issue of Playboy, and a collaboration with the Jay Z-approved toy company, Kid Robot.
While some transplants wouldn’t have finished unpacking all their boxes, Buff hasn’t squandered one New York minute. Despite all this, his most concrete impact on Brooklyn as of yet rests at the intersection of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, on the corner of N. 12th and Berry St.
Commissioned by Converse and Juxtapoz Magazine, the mural depicts five cyclopean ice cream cones exploring a carnation-hued barren land, littered with skulls. In the photographs documenting the mural installation on his blog, Buff wears fuchsia Chuck Taylors and his signature mohawk ponytail, grinning for the camera behind heart shaped Lolita sunglasses. Although he stands 6 feet tall, the smallest of the mural’s creatures are more than twice his height.
“It’s the biggest wall I’ve done” he told Greenpointers in a recent interview.
With the help of fellow area street artists, Buff completed the colossal project in just 4 days.
In 2010, Buff Monster appeared in the Banksy documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. Although he had been painting similar themes for over a decade, it was around that time that his Martian-esque ice cream terrains began to take on the more human shape of the happy ice cream explorers on the Converse wall.
“A few years ago they evolved into humanoid characters with a whole bunch more expression,” he said.
Even though eternally happy characters have long been a theme in Buff Monsters oeuvre, he said that the more forlorn characters are some of his favorites.
So what flavor ice cream does this street artist, new to Brooklyn, eat when he feels forlorn?
“I love mint chip, but you can’t go wrong with vanilla. It’s such an underrated flavor,” said Buff.
But Buff’s wall is certainly anything but vanilla. It’s bright pink hue is delightfully refreshing, serving as a vibrant mid-Winter boost for North Brooklynites as they walk by one of their newest Artist in Residence walls, dreaming of ice cream and Summer to come.