Spray Planet Artist Feature: David Choe

When you look in the mirror are you a hero, a villain, an asshole- or just a casual observer?”

Perhaps it is David Choe’s ability to define who he is and who he wants to be that has led to his continued success. Then again, one might suggest that this artist has no filter, wanting to be everything and anything that remotely relates to artistry. While this could be true, David Choe has made quite a successful career out of his endless curiosity. Born into the cultural and commercial hotbed that is Los Angeles, David Choe carved out his path in the street art of the city, developing a love for graffiti art with every David Choe Graffiti piece he skillfully sprayed onto a West Coast wall. What started merely as an interest soon grew into a passion spreading beyond graffiti art and into illustration, design, film, and fine art. Through it all, artist David Choe has become one of the leading names in street art, if not the entire art world.


David Choe Slow Jams Comic Book Zine

David Choe- Entrepreneur   

To learn about David Choe Mural Art is to discover an artist who successfully masters the duality of entrepreneur and creator. David Choe’s first steps into making a commercially viable product out of his highly unique street art style came in the form of a self-published comic, distributed for free at a comic convention. While no immediate payoff arrived, Choe would go on to catch the public eye with his submission of the piece Slow Jams for the Xeric Grant, which would win him $5,000 in funding. Slow Jams was just a taste of an art form that could have been considered too daring or radical for those who would view artwork by David Choe, but his ability to defy the textbook method left him with the beginning of a public career and a wide array of interest. Perhaps it is for the best the street artist chose to ignore higher education.


David Choe Dirty Hands

Dirty Hands

To view artwork by David Choe is to be unable to explain the evoking of one’s emotions by so surreal a picture. His style, dubbed “Dirty Hands” by Choe, has become a hallmark of the graffiti artist’s creativity. In every piece of David Choe Graffiti, the artist seems to exude parts of his entertaining and appealing personality, carrying a comical dissonance intertwined with the mystery and aura. The subjects carry themselves in ethereal poses, finding themselves in unnatural situations, provoking a sense of shameless wonder and eroticism. Acrylic, oil, mixed media, and of course, spray paint are some of the constants of these graffiti art pieces which feature a mixture of fashion, surrealism, comic, gothic, and pornographic, and fine art. The complexity of artist David Choe who has risen to tackle so many different projects arises in each piece along with his fascination of animals, peace, redemption, and sex. In short, David Choe Artwork can best be described as a representation of its maker, complex yet intriguing.


David Choe artwork at original Facebook offices

David Choe Artwork Influence

The wildly provocative pieces that David Choe spins have created a deep interest in an ever-receptive and ever-growing audience throughout his career, opening the way for a plethora of collaborations with high profile artists, celebrities, and companies as well as personal gallery openings. Choe’s projects range from album cover art for top-tier musicians and comics for Marvel and DC to mass marketing pieces for Converse and Levi and film collaborations with Sony and Warner Bros. Perhaps Choe’s most unique collaboration came when he agreed to provide entrepreneurs Sean Parker and Mark Zuckerberg with a series of David Choe Mural Work for the original Facebook offices, a job which left him quite the portfolio of Facebook stock. While some may consider the street artist too daring, his consistency with a taboo style and ability to translate it across all media has enabled his career to stretch to limits that many graffiti artists only imagine.


David Choe and Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown

Choe and Film

A more recent change in the career of David Choe has been his exploration of digital media and film. In fact, Choe has built quite a resume as both an actor and director. The informational series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN) and VICE (HBO) found widespread acclaim for every episode which featured Choe as the host. Artist David Choe capitalized on these successes by directing several music videos, most notably for Dan the Automator. Choe directed, wrote, and starred in VICE Media Inc.’s Thumbs Up! while The Sundance Film Festival hit We Are The Strange featured Choe as the main protagonist. Choe even became a sensation at the Los Angeles film festival with Harry Kim’s Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe. On a segment of Howard Stern, the radio host declared Choe “The Prince of All Media,” as his most recent transition into film has proven.


David Choe Phil and Ling comic

David Choe Recent Work

Simply scrolling through Artist David Choe’s Instagram feed will overwhelm the viewer with an abundance of opportunities to view artwork by David Choe as the artist never ceases to create. Perhaps this relentless energy is the secret to Choe’s magic. The mural artist has spent much of the 2020 quarantine connecting with his audience through small sketches and fine art paintings. His comicPhil and Ling is a wonderful regular on his feed created in the style of old newspaper comics. Needless to say, Choe hasn’t stopped creating videos, as he recently hosted a rather nonchalant critique of the graffiti art that has recently arisen on the street art scene of Los Angeles. His most recent piece has been an animated and stop-motion video production critiquing the latest Star Wars film entitled “David Choe Fan Fiction, Reaction and Review-Episode 1: Crispy and Chewie – Chewbacca Edition.” Every day, artist David Choe displays his creativity, wit, and artistry while remaining true to his style.

Perhaps there is no way to truly describe David Choe other than as a man who refuses to be defeated by his fears and a lack of understanding. A creator who began with street art and grew to so much more, Choe is a testament to every artist that fortune favors the bold.

David Choe Houston and Bowery Wall New York City

ARYZ x David Choe Mural San Francisco

David Choe Transform artwork

David Choe Artwork 001

David Choe Artwork 002

2 Responses



February 24, 2021

found out about David Choe from the Joe Rogan Experience. Ive listened to David’s stories about his travels, particularly in Africa and have beome intrigued by him, as a person hungry for life mostly. So i googled him, and here i am, realizing that David Choe is more than just an explorer and human being, he is also the most awesome artist. His work gave me chills. almost as if ive seen them before in my heart and mind but have never been able to explain or show anyone.



July 30, 2020

Amazing write-up! David Choe is a master of what he does! ’Nough said!

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