Updated with a statement from Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO/founder of Goldman Global Arts, landlord of the mural wall.
That's it for David Choe's mural on East Houston and the Bowery. The mural was painted over in the last 24 hours.
It's not immediately known who was responsible for the white out. The mural had been defaced multiple times since it was completed early on June 5. (The work was scheduled to be on view through October.)
Choe's work on the high-profile wall caused a stir, bringing back the story from 2014 in which he bragged about a sexual assault before later saying that he made the whole thing up. However, that wasn't an isolated incident. As Caroline Caldwell detailed at Hyperallergic, "The artist has an impressive history of making public statements that attempt to normalize or make a joke out of rape." An anti-rape protest and performance art piece titled "NO MEANS NO" is scheduled here today at 5 p.m. (Updated: Find a video clip here.)
Meanwhile, Choe issued an apology on his Instagram account yesterday ... complete with a blank image...
How does one apologize for a lifetime of doing wrong? Through my past three years of recovery and rehabilitation, I’ve attempted to answer that question through action and understanding. In my life I’ve struggled deeply with an unnatural amount of hatred I’ve had towards myself. Most of my life I’ve been a scared hurt shame filled person, trying to mask my insecurities with false confidence and an outwardly negative behavior to validate myself as worthy. In a 2014 episode of DVDASA, I relayed a story simply for shock value that made it seem as if I had sexually violated a woman. Though I said those words, I did not commit those actions. It did not happen. I have ZERO history of sexual assault. I am deeply sorry for any hurt I’ve brought to anyone through my past words. Non-consensual sex is rape and it is never funny or appropriate to joke about. I was a sick person at the height of my mental illness ,and have spent the last 3 years in mental health facilities healing myself and dedicating my life to helping and healing others through love and action. I do not believe in the things I have said although I take full ownership of saying them. Additionally, I do not condemn anyone or have any ill will towards those who spread hate and speak out negatively against me, no one will ever hate me more than I hated myself back then. Today I’ve learned to love and forgive others just as much as myself. It’s been a rough journey but i am grateful to be alive and to dedicate myself to shining the light I have found within myself and live in service and gratitude. I am truly sorry for the negative words and dark messages I had put out into the world.
Updated 12:30 p.m.
The wall white out happened after midnight...
Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO/founder of Goldman Global Arts, landlord of the mural wall, posted a lengthy response about the Choe mural on her Instagram account...
When Keith Haring’s mural appeared on the Bowery wall 35 years ago, that wall achieved legendary status. Through the years, we have privately funded the wall to make it a platform for world class art. Our sole motivation is to share beautiful artwork with the city of New York. Our selection of artists has always been based on talent, diversity of styles, and aesthetics. We have featured local and international artists, prominent and emerging ones, men and women. Our selection has never been an endorsement of the artist’s personal life or past behavior, nor do we believe we are in a position to judge a person’s character or morality. We have heard the voices of those of you who have protested our selection of David Choe for the Bowery wall because of his past statements about women. We admire your courage in speaking out against the glorification of rape culture. It is never acceptable to objectify women or to joke about rape. Mr. Choe has now spoken for himself and publicly apologized for his past behavior and the dark words he put into the world. We commend him for publicly acknowledging what he privately shared with us before we selected him. We believe his sincerity. In a broader sense, your voices have prompted us to question whether we should evaluate the character of the artists with whom we work, and automatically disqualify from consideration those who have behaved inappropriately. This debate is universal and not unique to the art world. We honestly don’t know the right answer. Where do we draw the line? None of us is without flaw, and what often differentiates artists and inspires them to greatness is their personal struggles with darkness, and their willingness to confront their insecurities and commit to heal and help others. We are proud of the impact we have made in the street art world. We are always hopeful that our choices have positive ripple effects, not negative ones. Perhaps this experience will stimulate the conversation about everyone’s responsibility to contribute to tolerance and understanding. We remain committed to providing a canvas for millions of people to be inspired by the creativity of artists from all walks of life.