“David Choe” and “Denver, Colorado” Share the Same Initials

David Choe can’t seem to get enough of D Town.  He passed through last week while filming his latest installment of “Thumbs Up”.  Remarkably, not a single Denver resident lost a limb, or karma-points, during the course of his stay.

Some may recall the Terminal Kings event held in early 2012 in which Choe joined street artists Highraff and Sam Flores for some good natured and propellant-powered live painting.  Agents of the Poorly Kept Secret Society, then a better kept secret, were on hand.  During that event, Choe decided to donate a mural to the City and County of Denver (with the help of his cohorts DVS-1 and Joe To).  Those outstanding, towering paintings have lived at 13th and Champa for the past 18 months.  Lo and behold, upon Choe’s latest arrival in Denver he decided to improve his mural. 


There are Agents in the Poorly Kept Secret Society who continue to be dubious of Mr. Choe’s work.  He is an accomplished technician, no doubt.  If you gave a can of aerosol to both Choe and an automatic David-Choe-Aersol-Contest-Winning Machine (I believe this is under development by NASA), David Choe wins, hands down.  He is also graced with a marvelously ludicrous imagination.  But, he is also in that cadre of artists who have come to represent much more than the sum of their craft.  Along with the other superstars of the art market, Choe is a symbol of that unattainable corner of the aesthetics.  His work is for the wealthy.  He, himself, is a multi-millioinaire.  He gets lumped with Hirst and Koons and the rest of the superstars.  Snore.  He is also crass.  Or, at least the character of himself that we see on Thumbs Up is.  Exclusive and glib; these two traits conspire to make his art feel a bit unapproachable.

In real life, Choe is very friendly.  The Agents of the Poorly Kept Secret Society who have spent time with David Choe have reported that he is a warm conversationalist.  He also commits fully and completely to his art, no pretense.  And, the simple, streetwise nature of his aesthetic and the honesty of his narrative are engaging.  He seems to resolve any discomfort we may feel with his lifestyle by simply making amazing, beautiful, and engaging works of art.  They are indeed for everyone.

And, never is that more obvious than in the fact that he has once again given a gift to Denver.  If you have not been by the Denver Performing Arts Complex in a while, make the trip.  13th and Champa.  Go in disguise, if possible.

(Photograph courtesy of Jacquelyn Connolly, Co-conspirator to the Poorly Kept Secret Society.)


Society Agents Infiltrate the New York Bakery on Havana in Aurora

 At 16:15 hours on June 23, Agents of the Poorly Kept Secret Society infiltrated the New York Bakery on Iliff and Havana in Aurora, Colorado. Below is a summary of their findings.1. The tiny bakery is likely to be a front for either sinister or noble purposes. The reason for this assumption is that the “New York” Bakery, in which one might expect to find lots of pumpernickel and biallies, in fact carries an extensive assortment of delightful Korean pastries.

2. Agents, posing as customers purchased dinner rolls, a chocolate filled pastry, a strawberry layer cake and several other items. Finding: effing yum!

3. The kind lady serving our agents gave them complimentary lemon cakes. We can only assume that she was doing this to deliver a secret message.

3. The New York Bakery did not have a website or Facebook page. This is promising. It appears to be a quiet, family run local business devoted to sheer, unambiguous enjoyment. Thus, it is exactly the kind of organization that the Society should activity promote.

4. Further investigation will be required. Soon.

That is all.



Livability + Sustainability + Vitality + Justice

These are the four categories of great cities. There are many subdivisions, many occupations and intentions that comprise these four things.  Healthy local businesses are a component of Vitality. Neighborhood parks are a component of Livability and Sustainability. And, so on.

The Society is mainly involved in Surprise and Astonishment, a component of Livability. That is pretty specific.

However, to be an effective part of a city’s portfolio, we must also be open to partnerships. These partners must be chosen wisely; agents of a secret society must be careful in whom they trust. We, the Agents and friends of the Poorly Kept Secret Society must seek out other organizations that are also beneficial to life in the city. We must find compatriots who deal in social justice, perhaps. Or, job creation. We must be focused on subversive tactics to Surprise and Astound, oh yes. But we must make sure that such action connects to success of others.

Mission Statement?

The Mission of the Society is classified.

However, it is your good fortune that one of the Guiding Principles of the Society is RADICAL TRANSPARENCY.  Which means, you have clearance!  Congratulations.

There are some Agents in the society that have raised doubts about having a Mission Statement at all.  You see, we are an organization that uses the expertise and talents of our Agents, clandestine as they sometimes may be, to enhance and catalyze the missions and goals of other organizations, communities, and government agencies.  In that regard, perhaps our mission changes based on the operation we are associated with.

Good point.


We Agents will continue to deliberate on that.  We have, however, been developing a Manifesto.  This seems to be a better fit, in that our deeper purpose can be a tool for the use of our clients.  It is a philosophical stance from which action can be generated to achieve all sorts of goals.  The Manifesto is long, and will take a while to decode.  You see, each individual word is hidden within the content of concert posters taped or stapled to lamp posts along a six-block stretch Colfax Avenue.  I have managed to decode the first sentence of the draft Manifesto of the Poorly Kept Secret Society, and can share that with you now:

The Poorly Kept Secret Society exists to SURPRISE and ASTOUND by connecting the remarkable creativity of artists, musicians, thinkers, writers, designers and performers with those communities, organizations, and government agencies that would improve the urban built environment.

The Poorly Kept Secret Society does not usually participate in online activity.  Our communications generally happen face-to-face; typically in a darkened alley or appropriately smoke-filled speakeasy.  (Which is not easy to find, let me tell you, since cigarettes are bad for you and should be avoided, and bringing a bucket of water and dry ice into a smoke-free establishment is likely to blow your cover…)

If you would like to contact the Poorly Kept Secret Society, or learn more about our organization, then please follow these simple instructions.

  1. Go to your nearest local library and ask the friendly, if nervous-looking, librarian for a copy of last Saturday’s Denver Post.
  2. Cut out the first article on page five.
  3. Circle the third word in the second paragraph with a pen.  Preferably red.  This is the secret word.
  4. Leave a comment on this website with an anagram of the secret word hidden in the final sentence.

Once you have performed these simple steps, a member of the Poorly Kept Secret Society will review your message and, if they find that you have followed all these simple steps correctly, we will know that you are just a bit too curious and you will be avoided at all costs.

Not to be rude, as I am sure you are a wonderful person.  I apologize for this inconvenience.  Good day, sir!