Protesting Rape Culture at the Bowery Mural Wall Yesterday [PHOTOS]

Posted on: June 19th, 2017 at 5:08 am by

Father’s Day yesterday, during the late evening hours, more than a dozen activists sidled up to the recently whitewashed Bowery mural wall to protest previous artist, David Choe. Protestors organized to make a visual statement condemning Goldman Properties (property owner and curator) for alleged endorsement of “predatory rape culture by commissioning the work of a popular artist and media personality who has openly and publicly admitted to participating in ‘rapey behavior’ and questionable activities akin to sexual harassment.”

The so-called “No Means No” protest was organized by curator Jasmine Wahi, co-owner and director of the Gateway Project Spaces. One tipster sent the following dispatch:

About 17 performer activists lined up across the mural wall with “No Means No” and “Resist” spelled out on their t-shirts. Crowds watched from the median on Houston and the sidewalks, passersby stopped to watch and take pictures, a film crew was present. The demonstrators with “Resist” on their shirts later poured red liquid over their heads and bodies.

The controversial David Choe mural at the Bowery wall was completely erased over the weekend. It happened just as Goldman Properties began facing mounting pressure from the community over commissioning artwork by a man who bragged about an alleged sexual assault in 2014.

Ever since Choe painted the mural at the Bowery wall earlier this month, he’s been under scrutiny. The artwork had been vandalized several times in the ensuing weeks. The Goldman firm has yet to comment on the selection, and, to be fair, it’s unclear at the moment who is responsible for this complete erasure. The mural was to be on display until October; no word yet on a replacement.

Below is the full description of the resistance happening, per Artnet:

Recently, a prominent real estate company, which has been lauded for curating and cultivating public art projects in both New York and Miami, became an active endorser of predatory rape culture by commissioning the work of a popular artist and media personality who has openly and publicly admitted to participating in ‘rapey behavior’ and questionable activities akin to sexual harassment at the very least. The artist has since claimed, in response to vehement backlash and potential legal repercussions, that he did not actually assault anyone, and merely fabricated a story intended to titillate and entertain. This type of ‘entertainment’ exemplifies the perpetuation of ‘rape culture.’

We will use the SoHo mural as our main stage for our response to rape culture. It is not in our interest to censor the work of other artists, regardless of how vile their public personas may be. It is important for us to to make it explicitly clear that our aim is not to tamper with, vandalize, or destroy anyone’s work. Rather than erase the it from our memory, we want to respond to it in such a strong way that our action will be remembered above all else. We use the mural as a catalyst for larger critique of those who actively boost rape culture, and those who condone this type of zeitgeist. As a piece meant to be consumed by the public and for the public, we will consume it—chew it and spit it out. We will use this piece as a stage to restart this conversation and this war against sexual violence, without destroying the artistic integrity of the piece.

This happening is not simply about one rape-blind company or one rape-promoting artist—it is about exposing and subsequently dismantling this constructs of patriarchal violence and rape culture.

We will reiterate the prominence of this culture—of those who hold the most powerful positions and are equally culpable in the growth of sexual violence and rape culture. Rape Culture has become OUR global culture. And we will not stand for it. NO MEANS NO.

David Choe's handjob

A post shared by Scott Lynch (@scoboco) on

Recent Stories

Chinatown Art Brigade Protests Racially Insensitive ‘Poverty Porn’ at James Cohan Gallery

A controversial show at the James Cohan Gallery that’s drawn local ire in the Chinatown community was the site of an invasive protest action yesterday. The Chinatown Art Brigade, known for its nighttime projections of “Chinatown is not for sale” onto building facades, organized the rally on Grand Street in response to the racially insensitive […]

City Installs Countdown Clock at Rutgers Street M9 Bus Stop

Hark, weary commuters. There is a new piece of tech hardware at the northwest corner of East Broadway and Rutgers Street. Indeed, the city installed a new countdown clock for the downtown M9 bus stop over the weekend. The bus information is posted on both the sign and available via audio cue. This is seemingly […]

Scenes from Yesterday’s Lower East Side Pickle Day [PHOTOS]

Yesterday afternoon, mere hours after a woman was shot nearby, the Lower East Side Pickle Day took up residence along the northern third of Orchard Street. Attracting throngs of tourists to Hell Square, as is the case each year. Even the Pickle Guys’ Grand Street location was jam-packed throughout the afternoon, handling the party overflow… The […]

‘Tang Hotpot’ Unveiled on the Bowery, Opening Soon

After six months of construction, the final pieces are falling into place for Tang Hotpot. The new Szechuan restaurant at 135 Bowery recently dispensed with the sidewalk shed to reveal its unique exterior, complete with decorative door, teaser signage, and fishbowl window. Tang Hotpot is a loose spinoff of The Tang in the East Village […]

Surveillance Footage Shows Perp Fleeing on Moped After Rivington Street Shooting [VIDEO]

Surveillance video just surfaced of the perp who allegedly shot a 26-year-old woman near the Hotel on Rivington early yesterday morning. The victim reportedly exited a cab shortly after 5am when a bullet grazed her upper left shoulder. According to police, four shots were fired, and as many 9mm casings were recovered. By yesterday afternoon, crime scene tape […]