Can art and happiness coexist? Is great art only forged through pain? And is suffering integral to creativity?
These are just a few of the many questions explored in today’s colorful excavation of David Choe’s fascinating soul.
I suspect many of you are already well familiar with this human and his art. Perhaps you watched his VICE special, Thumbs Up. You’ve seen him alongside the late Anthony Bourdain in Parts Unknown or the recent documentary Roadrunner. He’s also appeared on Howard Stern, Joe Rogan, and David Chang’s podcast.
But for those unfamiliar, David is an extraordinarily unique and talented street artist, fine artist, performance artist, and muralist. He’s also a musician, journalist, writer, producer, fellow podcast host, a self-proclaimed liar, thief, altruistic narcissist, vagabond, and recovering sex and gambling addict. In other words, he’s a highly flawed human—just like the rest of us.
Most of the conversations that swirl around David tend to revolve around his wealth (he took stock instead of cash for murals he painted on the walls of Facebook that would later enrich him to the tune of $200M) and the countless wild yarns he spins about his many well-documented adventures, escapades, and public scandals.
Today we travel beyond the David of yore to meet a very different man. An artist and human who has grappled with his demons and emerged more complete. Grounded. And grateful.
“Creativity is God. When I am creating, that’s me praying.”
– DAVID CHOE
What interests me most about David has nothing to do with his wealth, fame or copious talent. Instead it’s his honesty—a rare and raw vulnerability that is both sweet and endearing. A reflection of his devotion to self-growth, the David of today is refreshingly open about his journey and failures. The result is a deeply empathetic, sensitive, caring, and thoughtful man in search of personal truth and connection—all of which is writ large and beautifully captured in his latest utterly unique creation, The Choe Show on FX.
Today’s conversation centers on mental health, childhood trauma, and the many perils of addiction. It’s about identity, sobriety, creativity, and more broadly, the journey to self-acceptance and self-love.
David is one of the few brave individuals who can shine a flashlight on the darkest places of his soul—a rare authenticity that somehow gives everyone else the green light to do the same.
The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Note: If this is your first rendezvous with David, this is not one for the kiddo’s ears. Explicits are dropped. You have been forewarned.
I adore this conversation. It’s nothing short of magical, and I hope you find it helpful especially if you’re one of the many who are struggling or suffering right now.
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- Connect with David Choe: Website | Instagram
- IMDb: David Choe
- Film: Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe
- FX: The Choe Show
- Vice: David Choe
- Vice: How to Hitchhike Across America: Thumbs Up
- Jason Jaworski: A Profile of Artist David Choe
- YouTube: ROADRUNNER: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
- The New York Times: After Years of Sex and Lies, David Choe Is Ready for TV
- NPR: David Choe Releases New Show On FX and Hulu
- New York Post: ‘The Choe Show’ on FX defies explanation
- Joe Rogan Experience: David Choe
- The David Chang Show: David Choe Tells His Story
- Howard Stern: David Choe: Super Artist Stops By
- CNBC: How this graffiti artist made $200 million overnight
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Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg & Grayson Wilder; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.
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