The Facebook IPO Players Club: David Choe

They were doing just fine before, but the biggest of Facebook’s minority owners are about to be catapulted into a far more elite bracket. David Choe is about to see his Facebook-mural efforts turn into over $200 million.


Who he is: David Choe, the New York Times says, is a “very successful artist with gallery shows and pieces exhibited in major museums.” His website describes him thusly: “David Choe was born in 1976 in Los Angeles. Today he is currently homeless, wandering the Earth making good art and bad music” and adds that “even though he dropped out of art school he still gets asked to speak at universities all the time”–lending him the same dropout-to-millionaire status as several other members of the Facebook IPO Players Club.


His art has appeared on album covers and on film sets, and Wikipedia notes that outside of the gallery environment he’s “closely identified with the bucktoothed whale he has been spray-painting on the streets since he was in his teens.” His ambitions are suggested to be painting the entire Great Wall of China, “but who knows anything with this guy?” Metroactive began an interview article about him by noting his art is so “provocative he gets death threats and gallery offers.”

What’s his connection with Facebook?: In 2005 Sean Parker commissioned Choe to paint more provocative art, in the form of graphic sexually themed murals on the walls of Facebook’s early Silicon Valley HQ, and in 2008 Mark Zuckerberg asked him to paint more restrained ones on the new HQ’s walls.

What’s his net worth now: Not entirely clear, although the Times calls him “wealthy.”

What will he make from the IPO: Offered cash or stock options as a so-called “adviser” for payment in 2005, Choe chose stock–likely gaining between 0.1% and 0.25% of the company’s stock at that point. At IPO this could convert to a value of $200 million.

What he may do with the money: Unknown, but that much cash sure buys a lot of spray paint. And mannequins.



How much he’ll make: Choe’s stake would be worth up to $250 million assuming he holds 0.25% stock and Facebook’s valuation is $100 million.

What he’ll do with it: We still don’t know. Choe isn’t part of the same scene as the rest of the Facebook IPO Player’s Club, though he does seem to have previous bad boy tendencies that Sean Parker may chime with–although he now claims to be a calmer, bible-stufying kinda guy. His Facebook page shows he’s very active in producing art, so we guess with $250 million in wealth he can really let his creative dreams fly. Maybe he’ll spend some of it strengthening that “complicated relationship” he has with Joey Kurtzman, and possibly “help humanity and do good things,” as he suggested in a recent interview with ABCNews.

Read about others in the Facebook IPO Players Club:

[Top image: Upper Playground]

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.


About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)