I meant to write about this show weeks ago, but I kept debating whether to stay true to my snarky self and write what I really think about Buff Monster’s latest solo show at Corey Helford Gallery. Finally, and by my peers’ encouragement, I sad “screw it” and am just going to be honest. The work is terrible. Not to hate on cute cartoon art because some artists do it pretty well at times, but Buff Monster’s one dimensional childish monsters remind me of scratch and sniff stickers or the sadistic product of Lisa Frank and Hello Kitty. On the streets, the characters look cutesy, colorful and fun, but within gallery walls they translate as shallow and not genuine.
The following pictures are several works featured in the current show. Inspired by what looks like complete anarchy in Candy Land, an emo Spongebob on hallucinogenic drugs, and a futuristic mythical anime world, the pieces display little design concept and thought. The whole show further saddens me about the art world, since many outlets praised the works with no critical eye. Those reviews are fluff, just like Buff Monster’s art.
Ultimately, in my opinion, Corey Helford made a huge mistake with this show. After forging a name internationally for their curatorial work in collaboration with the Bristol Museum with Art from the New World (one of the best urban art group shows to date), this show confuses me as to why they would plan and host such an atrocity. As a gallery well known for marketing and branding of their artists and exhibits, Buff Monster seems like the perfect choice for just that, since all he stands on is those aspects.
There is a major debate raging in the art world whether street art can translate inside gallery walls, but Buff Monster’s show gives another point to the doubters. Maybe if there was an installation, sculptures, or even a giant mountain of his plush toy in the gallery, I may not be so harsh. But Buff Monster’s work is so commercial that it has to be branded as such, because fine art surely is not it. Maybe, next time Buff.
Pictures Courtesy of Corey Helford Gallery