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On the Works of Nicholas Buffon

Lower East Side Coffee Shop, 2016, foam, glue, paper and paint, 31 x 17 1/4 inches x 7 1/4 inches
Lower East Side Coffee Shop, 2016, foam, glue, paper and paint, 31 x 17 1/4 inches x 7 1/4 inches

Nick Buffon is an emerging artist with a practice that goes against the grain.  While there are a lot of artists who make art that is focused on architecture, Nick’s subject matter ranges from tenements to bodegas to supermarkets on the Lower East Side of New York City!  Not exactly imagery that is in vogue, but then again, Nick moves to his own beat. It’s one of the things I love about him and his art.

Part of my goal is to find artists that I connect with, who possess an idiosyncratic approach to art-making. Nick Buffon makes things that mean a lot to me having grown up in New York. As New Yorker Magazine  recently said, Nick’s “wall-mounted dioramas of unprepossessing sites in New York, lovingly fashioned from hand-painted foam core, are elegies to a vanishing downtown.”

Porto Rico Importing Co., 2016, foam. glue, paper and paint, 24 1/4 inches x 17 x 6 1/4 inches

But, here’s the thing­– Nick is from Seattle. He clearly did not have a romantic connection with the Lower East Side until he moved here and it became “his landscape”. The LES has a look and feel that is unique in the world and its grittiness is connected to its roots. It was the immigrant ghetto for New Yorkers beginning in the mid 1800’s and today it remains the first place of entry for many immigrants.

Nick is 30 years-old and on the cusp of really doing some great things. He received his MFA from Bard College and like a lot of the people who attended Bard, he thinks differently. In the last year, Nick’s work has appeared in a number of museum shows and his work is part of the upcoming Cleveland Triennial called FRONT.

I bought a number of Nick’s wall sculptures and his work just stands out in my house.  It embodies a sense of something that is real, yet there is an irreverence to them that help to make them feel a little weird at the same time.   He is represented by one of the special people in the art world­­– Photios Giavanis. His Calllicoon Gallery is located in where else, the Lower East Side and you should visit them to view their exhibitions and perhaps inquire to see Nick’s work in person.

124 Forsyth Street, 2014, foam core, paper, glue, paint, 51 1/2 x 23 x 9 1/4 inches

I continue to find new learning about life via my exploration of art and artists.  No matter how hard I dig there are always new people, new processes, and new ideas to explore. Sometimes the people in the journey lead you to things that really are different and special. Nick Buffon’s work allows me to take a trip back in time, to my city that looked different and in some ways, helps me preserve memories that are important. I am grateful that I have the capacity to collect art and believe so strongly in the importance of patronage, particularly to support younger artists.  Nick’s work adds soul to my house and my life. And, given his talent, he will add soul to our world as he continues on his art-making journey.