Californian artist David Choe is as famous for his notorious exploits as he is for his art. Whitehot caught up with him at the Lazarides Gallery opening of Murderous Hearts, his first solo exhibition in the UK, where we got his take on anger, cops, jail, comic books, students and, of course, art. Visit www.davidchoe.com and www.lazinc.com for more info.
Where does your anger come from and how is it that you've been able to
transpose it into art?
Anger comes from having giant boils filled with creamy yellow puss on your face that won't go away when you're in high school, so a girl would never even consider touching any part or anywhere near your penis, when that is all you want and desire - for someone to touch, or accidentally bump into your stiff pubescent cock, and so you look like a MUTANT and why you relate to the X-MEN, and then you start to draw the X-Men, and then you get really good at it, and the girls still won't look at you, but at least they'll look at your art, which of course has a million lines and details, because everything you lack in composition and anatomy and perspective you make up with obsessive details, which is fine, because the longer they stare at the art, the longer you can look down their blouse and catch whiffs of their beautiful hair. God still gives me spots once in a while to keep me humble.
So, um, what exactly happened in Tokyo to land you in jail for four months?
I was masturbating to pixelated blurry Japanese porn in my hotel room minding my own business, and right as I was about to spooge, I realised I didn't have anything to shoot into, so I opened the window and a cop happened to be standing right outside my window , and as if in slow motion, he turned around just as I was popping, and I painted his face with my DNA and he didn't like that, so him and all his cop buddies stormed into my room, and begged me to do it to all of them, but I was tired, so I said I would finger all their buttholes at the same time, but at the last minute I changed my mind, because I realised I was lying, and I was not a fag, so they got mad and threw me in jail.
Did your time incarcerated affect your art?
It got browner and hornier.
You're almost as well known for your hitchhiking exploits and adventures in places like the Congo as you are for your artwork. Have you any particularly sketchy situations you'd like to share with us?
In Africa, they gave me a new nickname, affectionately referring to me as "NINTENDO".
Would you describe yourself as a thrill junky?
No, I just get impatient for death to spread her legs for me, sometimes.
You've worked for Marvel Comics. Were you a big comics fan as a kid? Any favourite characters or series?
There's no as a "kid" part, I'm 31 and I still go to the comic book store religiously every Wednesday. For new comics, "preacher" is the best comic book series ever. All of Al Colombia's stuff is amazing. I'm banned from marvel, so I hate everything they, do... but I still buy all of it.
What are your university lectures like? What's the reaction to your concepts at schools such as Princeton and Duke?
I hate school, and I especially hate kids and students. I usually look at these lecture opportunities to try out my new stand-up routines, which is usually met with uncomfortable laughter, lukewarm applause and the one weird zitty awkward kid walking away thinking I'm god.