As the focus of street artists like Robbie Conal and Shepard Fairey shifted from politics to commodity, a new generation of conceptualists sprang up from literally nowhere in the late '90s and early 21st century. The streets of L.A. were visited regularly by the post-and-paste works of Skullphone, Space Invader, 4eightyone, the band IMA Robot (in a slightly more craven way) — and Buff Monster's happy little fanged scrubbing bubbles. Tonight's reception for Buff Monster's “Heavy Metal Ice Cream Smile” is the latest manifestation of the burgeoning Pop Surrealist movement; heavy metal, ice cream and the smiles of eternally pop Japan are Buff Monster's chief influences, shot through with neon curves and Day-Glo giddiness. The exhibition, accompanied by a custom giant/giant custom balloon installation, also marks the publication of Buff Monster's Life is Sweet: The Art of Buff Monster (MINDStyle Books).

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 5. Continues through Sept. 26, 2009

LA Weekly