(b)ananartista (orgasmo sbuff)

Creating In Another Dimension

By Chris Brunelle

To step into the world of (b)ananartista (orgasmo sbuff) is truly a move into an alternate reality. For brevity sake, I shall here on refer to him as SBUFF.  SBUFF is an Italian multimedia artist, painter, illustrator, videomaker, performer, poet, songwriter, musician, sculptor, shaman, designer and living museum.  He takes on the character of madman artist.  His creations are often rough and amateurish, yet possess a raw creative spirit and wild energy that inspires to witness.  In true character of the unorthodox, SBUFF is the focus in many of his creations. Self-indulgent yes, but his persona is overtly caricatured and ultimately works as an artistic identity.  This presence in his work suggests the idea that art is life and conversely, life is art.

SBUFF has many self-portraits including, “Self-Portrait with Britney Spears,” “Self-Portrait with Zarathustra,” “Self-Portrait with MTV,” “Self-Portrait with Pfizer,” and well, you get the idea.  These works have a variation on the painted representation of SBUFF, which is a bust containing six eyes, triangle nose, and in the place of the Hindu third-eye is a symbol containing the self-reflexive “(b)” surrounded by 3 small triangles contained in a circle.  In each piece, we see what looks like a page out of a gossip magazine or celebrity website with our hero painted to the side of whatever famous character has joined him this time.  SBUFF is clearly obsessed with celebrity and seems to jokingly think of himself on the same level as the A-list names from every facet of pop-culture, philosophy, art, religion, and commerce.  Although a little self-absorbed, these self-portraits are very funny and most obviously reflect the artist’s sense of humor.

Another Narcissistic technique SBUFF uses in various pieces like, “Genius At First Sight,” “(b)ananartista Floods Paris Hilton and 50 Cent with Light,” and “Multilocational (b)ananartista Apparition at Biokip House,” is placing his “(b)” symbol over the third-eye area of the subjects in his work.  Whether this symbol is on Leonardo Da Vinci or 50 Cent, SBUFF suggest either a kinship of mentality with his subject or that possibly these people have been converted by the power of SBUFF.  Like a graffiti artist, he leaves this tag wherever he goes.  From the cheeks of woman’s behind in a thong bikini to the face of the Buddha, SBUFF’s mark is everywhere.  This technique adds to the cultish quality of his persona.  He’s spreading his madcap gospel, converting his followers, leaving his mark, and having a great time in the process.

The medium that best captures the personality and spirit of SBUFF is video.  Though his personality cannot be tamed within any medium, video allows you to experience him more directly while taking in his music, illustrations, performances, persona, and his video creations.  “Poko By PokoPony” is a highlight on his YouTube channel.  It is a collaboration set to a Japanese-influenced piece of absurdist dance music.  In this video, the music is credited to SBUFF and the animation is credited to Tomoko.  Though Tomoko is behind the visuals, she uses many images from SBUFF’s paintings mixed in with Japanese animated video game characters.  A recurring style for SBUFF is that of repeating patterns or repeating characters within the same frame.  In this piece, patterns of eyeballs, mushrooms, pandas, rabbits, and the head of our artist dance across the screen, creating a tripped out Super Mario Brothers romp.  As with much of his work, any concrete meaning seems to escape me, but the content is fun, fresh, energetic, and pure in spirit.  There’s a Bono lyric that seems to apply well to SBUFF, “They don’t know what you’re doing, babe it must be art.”  U2 isn’t anywhere close to being an authoritative voice in artistic criticism, but I’m sure SBUFF would agree that ultimately, who cares?

There are some other comparisons in the music world that can help explain SBUFF.  A dichotomy that has been going since the beginning of pop music is the ideals of form vs. content, which could be similarly described as style vs. substance.  Form and style represented by artists like Kiss, Poison, and Britney Spears.  Content and substance embodied in artists like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, or Tori Amos.  Even within these various artists, you can see the dynamic between both dimensions in their work and persona even though one is more of a factor for each of them in the equation.  SBUFF is on the style and form side of the spectrum, embodying the mad artist personality. He’s living the life of a wild creative and is a walking promotion of himself and what he represents.  Like the pop star image in music, his character and lifestyle are greater and more important than the sum total of his artistic output.  SBUFF wears the art star persona honorably and you can see that his intentions and intensity have a proactive effect on the artists and community around him.  He blurs the line between his life and his art and in doing so embodies the creative spirit.  Enter the world of (b)ananartista (orgasmo sbuff) at http://www.bananartista.com.

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