Monday, March 31, 2008

David Choong Lee

David Choong Lee is a Korean artist who currently resides in San Francisco. He mainly focuses on portraiture based on the people that surround him. Most of his work tends to have an urban feel to it and he paints people of many different races. This is one of the reasons that I find him and his work so interesting. When I first saw his work a few years ago in San Francisco, I would have never guessed that a Korean artist living in America painted them. Even though he is very aware of the events going on in his country, they do not become the main focus of his work. He has been able to completely take in his surroundings and translate them through his work.
One of my professors once told me that I needed to experiment in picking the models that I chose to paint. He asked me if Hispanic males that were near my age always surrounded me. I thought about this for a while and realized that my life was a bit more complex then that. Now I have been experimenting with people of different races and skin colors and it has made my work more exiting to me. It has been a challenge working with different colors combinations but enjoying at the same time because I am exploring new things through my paint. I am learning to be more aware of my surroundings and understanding why I choose to paint certain things. This will allow me to better relate to my work and make it easier to explain my paintings to others.

Barry Mcgee aka Twist.

Twist is one of graffiti's most successful artists when it comes to showing in galleries and museums. He was one of the first to actually show in major exhibitions while at the same time remaining true to him self and his graffiti esthetics. In the early 80's, there were some graffiti artist in some New York galleries, but their work had changed so much in order to cater to the art elite of that time. Twist once said that he cared more about what a young teenage graffiti artist thought about his work over that of a curator or an art critic. It’s exciting to see that he has an audience that the art world could care less about. His work continues to evolve and break barriers set on most artists. He is a living legend and still continues to be one of my greatest inspirations.

The 7th Letter Crew working the system.

Street art is becoming a more popular movement every day and tons of people are working at becoming a part of this subculture. Major corporations have noticed the growth of this movement and many already working hard to cash in and water down this art form. Some of the most popular artist at the forefront of this movement is the 7th Letter Crew. This group is made up of several talented artist, most of them being graffiti artist. They have done work for several major corporations such as Coke and Boost Mobile and they have been in numerous magazines, websites and videos. The thing that I love about these artists is that they have maintained that graffiti attitude of not selling out and staying true to their culture. They gladly take corporate jobs and corporate money, but these artists make the rules and not these rich companies. One interesting thing is that they given billboards to design and then they will go out at night and takeover the billboards of those same companies and other corporations. The 7th Letter Crew is definitely turning the tables by working the system and making it work for them.

Photo by G@BR!3L

When does ART go too far.

I just read this article on about the Paris artist Adel Abdessemed, who had his show shut down at The Art Institute of San Francisco. He was showing some videos of some animals being beat to death with a sledgehammer. Several animal activist groups protested the show and responded with a series of death threats to the artist and SFAI. Abdessemed defended his work by simply stating that he was only showing the world and event that was happening everyday. The killing of these animals occurred in a rural town in Mexico and was part of a slaughterhouse meat production.
I honestly don’t know where I stand in this case about art going too far and crossing a moral line. I do feel sorrow to see animals being killed, but I never really think about it when I eat meat. It’s just the way that we as Americans have been conditioned. The slaughtering of animals for meat productions is something that is not put out into the public eye because it something that we don't want to see.
San Francisco Art Institute official summed up the show as being part of a social critique. The work basically showed the difference in food production from U.S. industrialized companies to those of smaller poorer countries.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The return of the Paletas...

Last year we produced some shirts with a Paleta image on it and they were sold out out in about 2 weeks. Ever since then, people have been asking for that shirt and now we decided to create a new one. We are planning on releasing the shirt in San Antonio at the Sneaks up Event. I cant wait...


Photo Shoot

We did a small photo shoot with photographer Matt Hawthorne. We are beginning to gain more recognition by people that we never thought cared about what we do, like art galleries, clothing stores, and magazine editors. That being said, we have been asked to do several interviews for different Dallas publications and some online magazines. Here is a photo and a video of the photo shoot. These photos will be used for another Dallas publication later this year. We decided to use our bicycles as a theme because it’s something that we enjoy doing during our free time. Cycling in major cities has been around for quite a while, but we have been trying to help create a bicycle scene here in Dallas along with some other Bike crews. Thanks to

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SXSW 2008....

SXSW is a film and music festival that happens every year in Austin, Texas. This year my crew and I got involved in helping organize a few music shows and parties. Our main event was showing some art and producing a limited edition shirt with our freind Zaul, owner of Complete Clothing. Complete Clothing hosted many events over the SXSW week bringing many djs and performers for some in store performances. Here you will see a video of some Chicago perfomers at Complete Clothing. You can see our art hanging all over the store. We even painted the Complete Clothing logo on the wall...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Graffiti Lifestyle

The bad can be pretty harsh, but I have been lucky enough to overcome a lot of these obstacles. The reason is that I found a group of artist that were just as passionate about graffiti as I was and together we watch out for each other. This group of friends then formed as the graffiti crew known as the Sour Grapes and we have been together for 8 years now. We know each other so well that we are like a family and we help one another through our struggles in life. This is a video of our crew painting and old abandoned building that is a home to a lot of drug addicts in one of Dallas ghettos. We have been well received by the people of this hood, so we have never experienced any trouble here.

UTSA Student Art Show....

It almost time for the UTSA student art show, and I have some new stuff that I want to submit. Since I won the competition last year, my paintings will be used for the postcard. I always think its great to know that people recognize my work...



Sunday, March 9, 2008

SXSW here we some!!!

Here is one of the events that my crew and I will be supporting. SXSW is going to be really fun this year...

New Painting....

Hey, here is a new video that I made of me painting my friend Alpha. A lot of people always ask me how I paint my portraits, so here it is.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble was this past weekend and it was crazy. We had around 300 people show up, so the place was jammed pack inside and out. Friday, the day before the show was one of the craziest days ever. We woke up that morning and found our crew on the cover of The Dallas Mornig News Quick publication which is ditributed all over Dallas. People were calling us all day talking about us making the cover. Later that night we headed out to install the show and we got some terrible news. The guy that owned the place decided that we could'nt have the art show at his place anymore and he gave us some lame reason. It sucked because we spent months of promoting this event, our freinds Day19 had it promoted on and we even made a nice postcard to go with the show. So 24hrs. before the show we are running around like crazy looking for a spot because we did'nt want to cancel the show. Finally the nice family that owns Omegas Restaurant agreed to letting us set up the show at their place which was right down the street from the original spot. We took some measurements of the place and went home to design and build 3 big walls for the show. We were up until 3 in the morning building walls and up at 6 am the next day to continue the work. We show up to the restaurant around 10 am and all of artist are there ready to work. We set up all the walls and hung all the work until 6pm, 1 hour before the show started. I had just enough time to go home and shower and get back. I get there and find a lady there from WFFA chanel 8 news who was very interested in making a story about the show. She did some filming and got some interviews from us. The venue quickly filled up and people were buying Sour Grapes shirts like crazy and looking at the large amount of work on display. There were people there from all over DFW, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and our boy Heroin flew in from New York. It was good to see a large amount of young people in attendance because now we know that we are also reaching out to a younger generation. When I was a teenager, I would have never dreamed of going to an art show to see and meet artist that I was influenced by. I didnt have any art heroes as a teen. The Royal Rumble will go down as one of Dallas most succesfull underground artist show. The Sour Grapes Crew is only beggining, so you better believe there will be more....