Showing posts with label David Choe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Choe. Show all posts

Sunday, June 18, 2017

[Updated] David Choe's work has been painted over on the Bowery Mural Wall

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.

A post shared by DAVID CHOE (@davidchoe) on

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.

A post shared by Jessica Goldman Srebnick (@jessicawynwood) on

Saturday, June 17, 2017

[Updated] David Choe's Bowery mural site of anti-rape protest tomorrow

[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.

Updated 6/18

Here's a clip from the Sunday evening protest/performance...

Updated 6/19

Here's video via The Dusty Rebel...