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David Choe

David Choe In The UK

The LA graffiti artist on his first London show.

LA art anarchist David Choe has brought his vulgar, visceral adaptations of sex, pain and beauty to the UK. Murderous Heart may well be Choe's first solo appearance in the UK, yet the rabid wanderlust of his work was easily matched by the buying frenzy that ensued at both London and Newcastle Lazarides gallery openings. There is an irrepressible chaos surrounding David Choe that is utterly addictive, whether he is talking about the LA riots in '92 or his three month stint in a Tokyo jail after punching out a copper, working at Hustler or hitchhiking the world over. Did I mention he is a born again Christian obsessed with food, comics and gambling?         

Dazed Digital: How was your first UK experience at Lazarides?David Choe: It was the best experience I've ever had with a gallery. They covered all my costs, encouraged every fucked idea I had and never said no to anything I said. If it was a girl we'd be getting married in Vegas right now.

DD: The last time we spoke after your 2007 show at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, you said were done with the fine art world for a long while.

DC: Just like Jay-Z retired from the music biz, just like Stallone retired from Rocky and Rambo…

DD: What's up with loving Newcastle more than London?DC: I got more ass in Newcastle. DD: How long have you been working on Murderous Hearts? 

DC: I spent four months of my life falling apart for the London show, and 72 hours for the Newcastle show. Of course I liked the Newcastle work better.

DD: You've talked about preparing for exhibitions by going into a dark, dark place for a total blitz session. These are two large-scale shows, was it similar this time around? DC: Yeah, I pretty much stop functioning as a human being. When I go into this mode I don't sleep, I don't go into the sun - all I do is paint and draw and eat and shit until the work is done. DD: Are you still pursuing comics?  DC: The same way a gay pursues a straight.

DD: What's next for 2008?  DC: Working on bitching birthday cards for my Mom and Dad. Breaking the bank at The Bellagio and going back into the closet. David Choe Murderous Heart is at the Lazarides Gallery London until 28th March and the Lazarides Gallery Newcastle until 25th April.