Why One Of Anthony Bourdain's Best Friends Defaced One Of His Memorials

When Anthony Bourdain passed away, it was an incredible loss for so many people including his friends and family. That much is evident in their interviews for director Morgan Neville's latest documentary, "Roadrunner." However, some of those that knew Bourdain better than almost anyone else — his closest and best friends — mourned his death in long-held and unexpected ways.

Bourdain's friend, artist David Choe, had spent quite some time with Bourdain over the years. In "Roadrunner's" archival footage, as Choe painted a portrait of Bourdain, the two wax poetic on what it means to be an artist and whether or not that means being in a constant state of pain. But when Bourdain died, Choe felt as if everything had paused. He even decided to let his hair grow until the documentary comes to a close three years after Bourdain's death. 

And while Choe's personal reminder of Bourdain sustained his grief for quite some time, it was what he did next that shattered all expectations and honored Bourdain's memory.

Artist David Choe painted over a mural of Bourdain

Choe and Neville both knew that Bourdain would have absolutely despised being memorialized and glorified in the many murals that popped up after his death. In "Roadrunner," there's even footage of Bourdain describing what he wanted done with his body after he died to give one last message and get one last rise out of people. He also knew exactly how he didn't want to be remembered. That's why the decision for one of his best friends to deface a memorial with a mural of Bourdain was genius.

Choe selected a work of street art and almost completely painted over the image of Bourdain sitting in a chair, looking out on the world. Though Choe left one of Bourdain's eyes in the mural visible, the message was clear. Bourdain wanted to continue to be provocative and audacious even in death. Fortunately, he had friends like Choe who love him enough to follow through on his wishes.

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