Though Buff Monster was born in Hawaii, he much prefers Los Angeles and New York.
“L.A. inspires me,” he says. “It’s a place in popular culture, it’s the movie industry, the adult industry— and it’s all about image. Porn and sex inspires me. Heavy metal too—Slayer, Judas Priest, Maiden, Ozzy. I’ve been going to death metal shows—Gwar is fucking rad! They totally inspired me for this boob fountain I just did—one boob in the center and then six boobs squirting around in a fountain with blow-up dolls.”
“I like to be somewhere with lots going on,” he continues. “It’s more worth my time. I could do lots of posters of Hawaii, but what’s the point? L.A. has lots of stuff to put things on. New York or San Francisco are the only other places I’d live. But the work that I make is specific for LA. If I lived in New York, I’d still make boobs and pink and stuff like that. But everybody drives here, so you have to do big stuff that people recognize when they drive by.”
Originally a business scholar at the University of Southern California, von NotHaus contends that attending art school is not the best move for artists. As Creative Director of BPM Magazine, he can create art AND pay the bills.
“The ‘starving artist’ thing never appealed to me,” he says. “When I went to Europe, I realized how comfortable I like to be. I do think about a lot of money issues that my peers don’t. Making money, building wealth, owning property. I don’t want a job, but I choose to have a job, because it pays for stuff—like art supplies.”
Grounded in graffiti art “theoretically and stylistically,” Buff Monster admires Barry McGee as well as Takashi Murakami and Andy Warhol. Describing his work, he says, “It’s very pink . . . fluorescent pink, for the most part, which is very different from baby pink. It’s not Hallmark cards and baby bits. It’s the brightest, most killer, most obnoxious pink you can get.”
Photo credit: fecalface.com
Why pink, one wonders?
“Lots of good things are pink: girls, cotton candy.”