Buffalo Bonker was born and raised in Orange County, California. He first learned to draw portraits as a child and began to receive commissions for portraits and murals as young as age 10. He further developed his painting style and technique over the years by disciplined self-study and by immersing himself in the strong artist communities of Santa Cruz and Marin Counties in California. Desiring to focus on his painting with less distraction, he eventually relocated to Iowa, where he currently resides.

Bonker's postmodern paintings experiments with the distortion and repurposing of recognizable imagery. Through the use of cropping, stretching and rotating, new paintings are created with new perspectives and compositions. Parts of the original image continue to hint to the images previous version.