Always a nice interview. Here is one he did with Obama Art Report.
Name: david choe
Location: every 3 star hotel that pops up on priceline that I can bid on for under $50
Years doing this: ever since I got my period in miss haldeman’s class , and made a Rorschach bloodblot art piece on my seat
First off David, want to give our readers a little background on who you are, what you do?
Well since this is an internet interview , I guess you can click here:www.vbs.tv/shows.php?show=1125
So I've heard you've got quite the tumultuous background. In fact, I remember you once saying: "When people stop buying my shirts and art, I can still rob your fucking house". That seems pretty classic Choe.. so what sort of trouble did you find yourself getting into growing up?
I got my dick stuck in the vacuum cleaner , and a Snapple bottle, my older brother jimmy got arrested for arson, carrying a knife and poisoning his entire class with sleeping pills, while I took it more easy , roof hopping, breaking and entering, shoplifting, vandalism,counterfeiting checks and farting on everyone while they were sleeping, when I see that line "When people stop buying my shirts and art, I can still rob your fucking house". Quoted back to me like that,I fucking cringe, I said that, when I was younger and angrier, I would never rob your house today.
I'm half-Asian myself and I remember hearing John McCain say that he "hates gooks". I was like, really, this dude can say this? In this day and age? Do you remember the last time you really experienced overt racism?
Well when I lived in Israel there were only two asian guys on the settlement , me and this Chinese buck toothed nerd, lewis , so the south africans named him SEGA and I was affectionately known as NINTENDO , but that was years ago, the last time something overtly racist happened to me was every time I go to germany, or everyday I was in shibuya station jail in Tokyo, where I had to fight a different Japanese not a very nice person every week who had a problem with gooks, and actually when john mccain says “I hate gooks” he’s actually saying he hates americans, the derogatory term gook, came about in the Korean war , when the americans arrived in korea, and the happy koreans were shouting “me-gook! Me-gook!” which means “AMERICA!!! AMERICA!!!” but phonetically sounds like “me gook , I’m a gook” so I’m sure the americans were like ,”ok ok, you’re a gook,” so they called us gooks, and when the viet nam war started years later and some of the same soldiers fought in that war , the slang carried over because I’m sure to them one slant eyed yellow dude is the same as the next, so to sum up, koreans are called gooks, because of americans, and Vietnamese are called gooks because of koreans, so when mccain is saying he hates gooks, hes basically saying he hates himself, and to be fair, if I got caught behind enemy lines and tortured like he did I’d hate gooks forever or for a very long time also, I went to prison in japan for 3 months and I hated Japanese people for one year , and then got over it.
Would you say there was a turning point in your life? Getting arrested in Japan seems like it'd be a pretty big one.
Reading penthouse letters when I was 12 in my closet and then finally figuring out that the word”come” had two very different special meanings
Background aside, you've really done a lot for the current state of affairs here in this country (and the world) with all the energy you've dedicated to the Obama campaign. Your prints for Upper Playground sold out with a quickness, you went on a massive cross country wheatpaste tour and you recently made the cover of Giant Robot Magazine.. How exactly did this all begin?
Matt revelli of upperplayground, asked me to do a poster, and I said fuck that, I’m not a political guy, I don’t care about this shit, I don’t care about anything,I’m a nihilist, fuck everyone, if this country goes to shit I got secret hideouts all over the earth .i’m a citizen of this planet I can go anywhere, but then I was like dude why are you so angry, here’s a guy that overcame unbelievable odds, to get where he was, and all he was trying to do was make shit better, make a change for the better, I think hes even the only president that ever tried to put a health insurance plan in effect for artists. so i was like fuck it, i'm gonna try and help this guy out the way only way i can, by painting the best fucking painting i possibly can, to capture this mans character hopes and dreams into one image .We made a shitload of money off the image of obama and we dontated it all back into the campaign, when your in some small redneck town and theres people chasing after you , not to kill you, not to yell at you, and not because they know who dave choe is, but they just want a poster of hope to hang in their living room, that’s pretty powerful. And the strangest thing,is the original paintings ive done of obama are pretty pricey , and the only people trying to buy it are foreigners? They might love obama more than us
This whole election has really seen a massive outpouring of artistic support on many levels. Why do you think that is? Why now?
Obama has big ears and he’s really fun to draw, a lot of idiots think obama is the antichrist, but I’m like you dumb fucks, we basically had the antichrist for the last 8 years, George Bush fucking ruined the planet , he ruined lives and familes, they should line up BUSH and have everyone on the planet hit him with both their shoes.
What is it about Obama that has inspired you personally?
A lot of my friends are comedians and they would say man wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a black president, imagine all the material we’d have to make jokes. Every movie where I see a black president I love, president palmer from 24, or even presdent Camacho from idiocracy, and even chris rock in that shittty black president movie,that Bernie mac was awesome in, in the beginning it was more of a joke because I was like this guy is never gonna win, but then I got to hear him speak, and found out more about his personal life, and then I started to really like the guy and relate to him, and really what do I have in common with any other guy that’s ever been president of this country? nothing. So this was huge for me.
Now that Obama's won, what are your plans for next year?
I’m moving to china for a few months, for my first solo show in china Beijing at the PYO gallery, I’m gonna paint everything there, and as far as the inaguration, Maybe, as I get older I get more scared of crwods, and I guess they’re expecting more people in dc that weekend than ever in history, sounds sort of like a headache, and unless they say hes gonna turn stone into bread , Im not going, but maybe who knows it ‘s not that far from new york .
Let's say you got elected president this year instead of Obama... what does the first Asian-American President do?
Stick my dick in the mashed potatoes , throw the peace sign in the air and scream,”ME GOOK! ME GOOK!”