L.A. street artist David Choe to reap millions from Facebook IPO?


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The idea that all street artists are impoverished souls eking out an existence for the love of their craft is a passé and somewhat naive notion in our age of Banksy, Shepard Fairey and other creative types who have parlayed their underground success into lucrative businesses.

We might soon be able to add to their ranks artist David Choe, who has created a number of murals for Facebook headquarters. The L.A. street and graffiti artist could stand to earn upward of $200 million from Facebook’s initial public offering, according to recent reports. That kind of money would no doubt make even Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst envious.


As reported in The Times, Choe was asked to create murals for Facebook’s former headquarters in Palo Alto in 2005 by the company’s founding president, Sean Parker. Two years later, the artist was asked by CEO Mark Zuckerberg to create more artwork.

The company’s current headquarters in Menlo Park also bears the graffiti stamp of Choe, who created a large-scale blue mural in the lobby of one building, as well as other works.

The New York Times reported last week that Choe was compensated for his work with shares of Facebook. The artist’s compensation is valued at about $200 million, according to knowledgeable people interviewed by the newspaper. Since bidding goodbye, more or less, to his rough street life, including a stint in the slammer, Choe has launched a highly successful graffiti career. He created poster artwork for the movie ‘Machete’ in 2010 and has had shows in Beverly Hills, London and other cities.


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-- David Ng