Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Art & Culture: David Choe

Much is made of the fact that David Choe is relatively young (he was born in 1976), is by some accounts homeless, that he dropped out of art school and did some sort of stint in a Chinese prison. What is said less often -- but what is immediately apparent -- is that Choe is brilliant, his talent so deep it can appear bottomless.

Identified as both a gallery and street artist, Choe himself says he can and will paint “anything.” Graffiti, murals, paintings, sketchbook pages, photographs, toys, t-shirts, collages, artwork created with blood. And more.

Though there are some scribblings in David Choe (Chronicle Books) they are probably not why anyone would buy this book. The depth of this work -- and the virtuosity -- are staggering. Unless you follow a certain type of work or a certain type of magazine or game, you may not recognize Choe’s name or his style. But leaf through David Choe and there is no going back. There is a raw and real energy in almost every one of the works chosen to be included in what is a reasonably massive book. It’s impossible to think that there isn’t something going on here. Something important. And something that, when you recognize it, you won’t be alone. ◊

Lincoln Cho is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in the Chicago area where he works in the high tech industry. He is currently working on a his first novel, a science fiction thriller set in the world of telecommunications.

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