David Choe: Artist who got Facebook stock instead of cash now worth $200 million

One of David Choe's less risque murals at Facebook.

David Choe, a Korean American graffiti artist commissioned by Sean Parker, probably had no idea that spray painting a few raunchy sex scenes on the walls of the Facebook office would someday make him rich beyond his wildest dreams — to the tune of $200 million.

Choe was asked by Facebook mogul and notorious bad boy Sean Parker in 2005 to decorate the company’s Palo Alto office with erotic murals. Choe was given a choice in his payment: Cash or Facebook stock. At the time, he found the social network “ridiculous and pointless,” but he picked the stock anyway, likely worth only about 0.1 to 0.25 percent of the company. After yesterday’s IPO, it’s now valued at about $200 million, according to The New York Times.

So what do these multimillion dollar murals look like? Gawker published the account of a student journalist who accompanied Choe to the Facebook office the day he made his masterpiece. Behold:

Within this short 20-minute visit, Parker encouraged him to go crazy and draw as many giant “cocks” as Choe wanted. I saw the artist slap on a smile and slip into David Choe persona, immediately head downstairs, and tag up a woman on all fours in about two minutes to the delight and amusement of Parker and his friend.

According to the NYT, that 20 minute visit with a few cans of spray paint could prove more valuable than the work by famed artist Damien Hirst that sold for a record-breaking $200.7 million in 2008 at a Sotheby’s auction.


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