Street artist David Choe gained some notoriety when it was revealed that he was paid in stock for a mural he painted at Facebook headquarters several years ago -stock that turned out to be worth millions when the company went public. His latest project was not so lucky. Choe painted this mural on a wall at the Big Island Harley-Davidson in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Sunday. By Tuesday afternoon the entire wall had been painted over again in a solid gray! What happened? Choe had the support of the Harley-Davidson shop, but some complaints from the public spurred the the property owner that holds Harley-Davidson’s lease to order the art painted over.
However, in a prepared digital statement sent on Wednesday to West Hawaii Today, Choe said he had strong support from the motorcycle dealership as well as the (BJ) Penn Hawaii Youth Foundation before starting the mural. He noted the mural was not meant to be “dark,” but rather “all love and light,” and apologized for offending anyone.
“Hawaii is a healing, spiritual sanctuary,” Choe said. “The aloha spirit of this island cleanses and heals me; I feel refreshed and alive again when I’m here. I feel like I’m smiling (in Hawaii) while dying inside when I’m on the mainland, so I wanted to give back to the island. I had never painted an iwa (iwi) bird, or octopus, or humuhumunukunukuapuaa or Brother Iz, but I wanted to represent the aloha spirit and paint all these things, bright and colorful, to show my love for Hawaii.”
Luckily, the mural survives in photographs. Link -Thanks, Lilinoe!
(Image credit: David Choe)