This post, written by Mark Severson, is the first in a series of writings from the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC).
Next Thursday, I get the opportunity to meet David Choe, a California-based graffiti artist/musician with a desire to see new places and meet people across America. What was got me interested in Choe was Thumbs Up!, a VBS.tv series tracking his hitchhiking/train hopping journey from Los Angeles, California, to Miami, Florida. As Choe states, “ Train hopping is one of the last American frontiers. As years go by it gets harder and harder to do, but it’s a great way to see America. The adventure of hopping on a train to see a place you have never seen before is what creates the frontier.”
The greatest part about the Thumbs Up! series is the experiences Choe has along the way. Things get intense when Choe finds himself in the middle of the desert on a stopped train with no water. I can’t imagine how scary a situation like this would be, due to the fact that I live in the “ land of 10,000 lakes.” This reminds me of being on a family vacation to the Black Hills filled with non-stop driving in a hot car far from the cities. Although Choe spends one night at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, his accommodations aren’t all in the lap of luxury. From abandoned buildings to sleeping with strangers in a camper named “ The Dolphin,” Choe’s lodging is very daring.
Thumbs Up! is an awesome series that takes a look at what hitchhiking/train hopping across America is like today. As a reflection to what Choe encounters on his journey, he creates grafitti art along the way. Thumbs Up! leaves the viewer hanging with only half of his journey completed. Choe promises that new episodes of his travels will resume in a couple of months, check the Thumbs Up! blog to see updates of where and when Choe is headed to next or come to his FREE artist talk next Thursday!