David Choe

Empty Joys and Fleeting Fantasies July 9 - August 28, 2004

Fresh out of a Tokyo prison, semi-reformed street artist David Choe is eager to present his latest creations at the Kantor Gallery starting this Friday.

The show will feature a variety of never-before-seen paintings, wooden sculptures, and prints Choe created shortly before and after his most recent incarceration. In addition, the exhibit will include “Silent Dance,” the only painting Choe created after his release. Copies of Choe’s books, Bruised Fruit and Crusiv will also be available for purchase.

Choe’s somewhat manic style combines the raw with the refined. Although prone to moments of reckless scrawling, he ties his pieces together with elegantly effortless brush strokes, daring color palates, and carefully constructed layers. His intricate stylings portray an equally intricate interpretation of the world and people around him.

Choe created the artwork for the upcoming show during a period of self-reevaluation resulting from his arrest. He believes that the gradual abstraction of his figurative work throughout the years is a reflection of his shifting ideals. Despite Choe’s increased doubts about what the future may hold, he says his relationship with artistic expression has not changed.

“I still do love art,” says Choe. “The pencil, the paintbrush. I don’t know what else to say. Everything else is just stuff, temporary. Empty joys and fleeting fantasies.”

At the age of twenty-eight, Choe is extraordinarily well traveled. He has trekked throughout America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, documenting his experiences in paint—and leaving a record of his travels behind. His train-hopping and hitchhiking have served him as an invaluable source of inspiration.

Choe’s artistic handiwork has been exhibited in galleries worldwide from Germany to Tokyo. His murals adorn walls in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Middle East and Asia. His artwork has appeared on the pages of Hustler, Raygun, Vice, Juxtapoz, Giant Robot, Wired, and Vanity Fair. Choe’s graffiti and comics are also widely accessible.