Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday ProFile: Buff Diss

"Caution" and "No admittance" signs don't deter Buff Diss from creating street art. Instead, he view such statements as open invitations to work. Unlike many of his Melbourne contemporaries, Buff bucks the trend and uses masking tape, not spray paint, as his medium of choice. "I first started using masking tape in the street about five years ago," he says. "It was by accident, so it wasn't exactly a decisive step away from graffiti." Perplexing police and passersby with his unique ephemeral pieces, Buff messes with with people's heads while he modifies the city.
When it comes to picking locations, Buff gravitates towards abandoned spaces. "Usually, I like to work on dead buildings," he insists. "There's always just so much to work with and explore. Plus you get the time to work real detail or thought into a piece. But pieces in the street or on the tracks are more fun by far." While he occasionally collaborates with friends like Captain Benzo, Buff typically works alone. "Either on the street or indoors, it's an addictive process," he adds.
Some might find tape limiting, but Buff Diss digs the challenge. "I just make it up as I go along," he says. "I think the main reason I keep using tape is the lack of precident. There aren't any old men waving sticks and talking about how I should do it. I feel free to play around."

Sometimes, working with tape doesn't work out the way Buff plans. "I was traveling through France and stopped in a little town by the coast," he recalls. "I spotted these two huge wheat silos on the way and gave them a half-assed look over. After a few casks of France's finest, I made my way out to the massive silos....they were about 30 ft across. I shimmied up a pipe and used all my tape on a huge 'Buff' and 'Diss' buster. Very happy with the night's efforts, I trekked my girlfriend out the next day for photos only to be greeted by two blindingly bright steel silos and a 20 ft invisible roll tape piece; hadn't thought of the glare factor. She was highly impressed."

Currently, Buff's unpacking and adjusting to life in Berlin. "Now that I can focus purely on my art, I'm keen to see how far I can push tape," he says. "I'm also going to work on a series as opposed to the singular pieces I've done so far. Expect bigger, better, and a lot of shockers."

Thanks, Buff! For more photos and updates, stop by his Flickr. That's all for now! I'm flying back from New Orleans today and will report from home on Monday. Enjoy the weekend and I'll see you then!

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