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CNNMoney Salivates Over Jewcy’s David Choe…Also, Dave Loves America!

CNNMoney discusses the scary-fast rise of Jewcy's founding art director David Choe. Barely three years ago, you could have bought the San Jose street artist's paintings for a few hundred bucks apiece. Now a Choe portrait will set you back … Read More

By / March 23, 2007

CNNMoney discusses the scary-fast rise of Jewcy's founding art director David Choe.

Barely three years ago, you could have bought the San Jose street artist's paintings for a few hundred bucks apiece. Now a Choe portrait will set you back as much as $50,000.

They also show one of Dave's pieces, "City Girl."

Boy, we’re shameless. For weeks on end Jewcy had Dave working frantically in the back office pumping out brilliant original pieces like he was chained to a worktable in Shenzhen and being paid by the dozen. We’re talking one good spark away from the Jewcy Shirtwaist fire. Why did he do it? As I said before, it’s because Dave’s a militant Jewcer: he believes in the cause. Kudos to Dave for the CNN coverage.

But here's something that makes me mad: the influential arts and culture magazine Juxtapoz recently featured Dave on the cover of an issue titled “David Choe: Fast & Dirty.” In the first sentence of the intro to Matthew Newton’s interview with Dave, Newton summarizes Dave’s work this way:

“For the better part of a decade, David Choe has perpetuated a fast and dirty style of art that captures in feverish and frantic detail the ills of a crumbling and decadent America.”

I can forgive Newton for doing “adjective-conjunction-adjective” three times in one sentence. But I can’t forgive him for spreading the outrageous slander that Dave’s art is about “a crumbling and decadent America.”

Dave’s art is a feckin’ lovesong to America. I saw him in L.A. a couple weeks ago and we talked about his mixed media painting "My American Dream". Everything you need to know about how Dave feels about America is there. Yes, America (like the flag) is twisted and misshapen, sloppy, compromised, and not true to its self-image or the image it presents to others. And yet in all that messiness he sees a culture roiling with hybrid vigor, a sloppy unconstrained mongrel mess that Dave loves, and to which he’s the ultimate native.

All this is evident in his art, but I also know it’s true because I’ve known him since I was just a little tot and his grandmother swore at me in Korean for eating all the dried seaweed, which I did do, but in fairness I had never eaten seaweed before so I was understandably intrigued. The point being that I know Dave’s art better than anyone, so if you think my understanding is faulty, Occam’s razor tells us this is because you’re wrong.

So Juxtapoz, keep that tired “We’re artists, so we think America sucks, society sucks, cuz artists are like that” shtick for yourself, don't try to push it off on Dave.

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