David Choe // Dirty Hands, Dirty Man

Now David Choe is definitely quite insane, but he is also a rather fantastic artist. I have been a fan of his for several years and have seen his style progress and evolve from rough and dark to cute and more lightweight, while always staying DIRTY and RAW.

I popped into the soon-to-close Giant Robot NYC the other evening (do cheque before it goes) where Dave had signed several copies of his new and seriously thick 288-page volume about himself. I wasn’t keen on the glossy finish (nor its weight in my hand-luggage) so I didn’t cop one, but might take a closer look at a later date. Dave is close with Eric Nakamura, Giant Robot’s founder, who put out a tasty little b&w zine of lists and sketches Dave had put together, and which I did grab.

The lengths Choe has gone to in the name of art seem quite remarkable – just take a glance at his blog for examples of prison stints, serious drugs, lots of blood and huge amounts of street artwork. It seems, however, that Choe has recently settled down in more ways than one, with his work taking a noticably different direction as a result; while this new work may not be as exciting as early pieces, Choe’s unpredictable works still command many thousands of dollars at his sell-out shows, and so they should.

A recent issue of Juxtapoz, dedicated to Choe, suggested that he was the most important artist of the 20th Century, and is the most important of the 21st. While I’m not sure I quite agree, I do believe he is up there with the best of today’s artists, and I think the fact that I can’t wait for what he will get up to next is testament to that.


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