Found under a bubblegum pink sky, the Meltiverse is mapped out one painting at a time by Buff Monster. A surreal world which could entice the eye with a cherry-topped mountain on ooze erupting sugary spews or globular beasts held aloft on bat wings, the one seemingly constant element is the land’s one-eyed, anthropomorphic ice cream cone denizens. Known collectively as the Melty Misfits, after the Garbage Pail Kids-esque trading card/sticker series of the same name, the truly iconic inhabitant of this melty universe is Mister Melty, who properly transitioned into vinyl sculptural form in 2013. Having since been given new life in resin versions and even a wax candle rendition, the character is evolving again for Buff Monster’s newest exhibition, Melt With Me.

The Concrete Editions of Mister Melty

Debuting at Melt With Me were 27 unique renditions of Mister Melty cast by hand in concrete. Playing with the material’s nature, each of these roughly 5 to 7½ inch tall pieces have been purposefully “damaged”, giving them the feel of unearthed icons from an ancient civilization, before being coated in colorful spray paint. While the contradiction between concrete’s hardened form and Mister Melty’s soft, flowing ice cream nature is fascinating, there is one greater implication to this material choice; one that emphasizes how Mister Melty is symbolic of mortality.
Beneath the facade created by his one wide-eyed wonderment and blissfully unaware bucktoothed grin, Mister Melty remains in a perpetual state of decay, droplets of ice cream oozing down towards nothingness. Far from a nihilistic message, this “imagery is a metaphor the never-ending phenomenon of good looks, physical ability, and mental capacity all constantly slipping away,” according to Buff Monster. And with these concrete versions, the artist has literally chipped away at the form, delivering the viewer from the character’s traditional pristine state into one that has been ravaged by time. And, according to Buff Monster, “Time impacts all things, but nothing quite so dramatically as ice cream.”

The Resin & Fiberglass Edition of Mister Melty

But for those that prefer Mister Melty in his more iconic state, Melt With Me didn’t shy away from this refined, smooth rendition of the character. His cartoonish features forever frozen under a glossy finish, this exhibition presented a 24″ tall version of this everyman as an ice cream cone. Newly sculpted for this size, there’s something comforting about knowing that Mister Melty is impervious to decay in this form, produced in high-impact resin and fiberglass before being finished with automotive paint. Limited to an edition of 6 pieces (plus 2 artist proofs) in this debut white coloration, it’s hard to imagine a more fittingly timeless format for a character representative of time’s turbulant effects.

Further Images from Melt With Me

 
Having had its opening reception on Thursday, February 16th from 6-8pm, the works in this exhibition will remain on display until February 18th, 2017 the extended date of February 19th, 2017 at the showcase’s physical location (168 Bowery, New York, NY 10012).

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