[Photo from Thursday]
Updated 6/18: The mural has been painted over.
David Choe's mural on East Houston and the Bowery has been tagged multiple times in the past week, as Hyperallergic has been documenting.
There is mounting criticism over Choe's residency on the Bowery Mural Wall. As Caroline Caldwell detailed at Hyperallergic, Choe "has bragged about his predatory sexual behavior."
There is a protest planned here late tomorrow afternoon. Here's artnet News with details:
The Bowery Mural, currently home to a controversial work by street artist David Choe, will be the site of an anti-rape protest and performance art piece titled “NO MEANS NO” on June 18. The high-profile street art location has come under fire for offering a platform to Choe, after he bragged about a sexual encounter that sounded anything but consensual.
The protest is organized by curator Jasmine Wahi, co-owner and director of the Gateway Project Spaces, and founder and director of Project For Empty Space, both in Newark. "This piece is intended to examine examples of violent and predatory misogyny," reads the Facebook invite to the event. "Our aim is to provoke widespread rejection of the continued normalization of rape culture by bringing visibility to the topic."
The performance will take place simultaneously at Union Square South and in front of the Bowery mural on Houston Street, from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In 2014, on an episode of his podcast "DVDASA," Choe admitted to co-host Asa Akira that he had engaged in what he called "rapey behavior" with a masseuse at her spa. He later claimed that his confession was simply "bad storytelling in the style of douche."
Buzzfeed and XOJane were among the media outlets that called him out on his actions. His alleged rape fixation is outlined here with multiple citations from his quotes.
Here's a comment via EVG reader East Village Community Member on a previous Choe post:
Public art is supposed to be a benefit to the communities in which is it is shown. Supporting David Choe and normalizing his public boasts of sexual assault against women is irresponsible and harmful to our society as it perpetuates rape culture. Choe may get big art commissions, he may be rich, he may be a celebrity.
However, he is an inappropriate choice for public art in our community. The Bowery Mural Wall is a project of the corporate Goldman Properties. They have been irresponsible in presenting a public art project by Choe in our neighborhood. Choe's offensive actions and comments should not be supported or normalized but should be condemned. I'm not advocating censorship of his art, but in my opinion he is an inappropriate choice for a public art project in our community. Wouldn't we rather see projects by artists who have something constructive and positive to contribute?
Swoon, who had the Hurricane Sandy-themed work on the Bowery Mural Wall in 2013, spoke out against Choe on Instagram:
I just read the transcript of your rape story and I thought to myself wowwww, this guy honestly thinks he's being edgy while he celebrates within the safety of the same metaphorical locker room that has long protected Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, and countless entitled date raping predators of whom there are too many to name.
Why reinforce the most disgusting aspects of the already dominant mainstream culture while playing it off like it's some fun taboo or wild boundary crossing adventure? The day Trump got elected is the day you must have had to admit to yourself that there's nothing transgressive about your rape stories. Rape culture is all around us, and you choose to "entertain" by being just another drop in the bucket of violence.
Art gives us so many more ways to express sexuality and confusion than just normalizing rapist shop talk. To be honest I have a hard time believing there is not a major element of truth to the tale. As someone who comes from a family of survivors of sexual violence I can tell you first hand that the ripple effects of the actions and attitudes that you put forth as cool destroy more lives than you may even have the capacity to imagine. I hope you wake up soon.
Several people have spray painted rapist on the wall... this one remains...
Goldman Global Arts, the wall's landlord, has yet to address the growing controversy. The mural was slated to remain up through October.
Here's a clip from the Sunday evening protest/performance...
An incredibly powerful performance and protest entitled "No Means No" curated by Jasmine Wahi @browngirlcurator at the site of David Choe's Bowery Mural. Feeling honored to have witnessed these amazing artists fighting to dismantle rape culture, and fucking proud of the voices and fists raised today in the fierce NYC heat. #nomeansno #resist #nycart #artasresistance #dismantlerapeculture #jasminewahi #bowerywall
Here's video via The Dusty Rebel...