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Facebook IPO: Graffiti Artist To Make $200 Million

By Daya Baran at February 02, 2012 Comments (0)    Share

David Choe, the graffiti artist that painted the walls at Facebook’s first headquarters ended up taking stock instead of cash. When Facebook IPOs, his stock could be worth over $200 million according to SEC filings.

The payout to Mr. Choe, the graffiti artist, could provide more money from his paintings than Sotheby’s attracted for its record-breaking $200.7 million auction in 2008 for work by Damien Hirst.

In 2005, Facebook was a tiny start-up and it needed every penny. Mr. Choe’s was owed a few thousand dollars for this work. Mr. Choe, who said at the time that he thought the idea of Facebook was “ridiculous and pointless,” nevertheless chose the stock.

Mr.Choe is classified as an “adviser” to the company in the filings. According to a former Facebook employee, advisers were getting 0.1 to 0.25 percent of the company. Based on Facebook’s proposed market value of $100 billion, that translates into roughly $200 million for Mr. Choe.

Mr. Choe, is now a very successful artist with gallery shows and pieces exhibited in major museums. He has published an elaborate book titled “David Choe”, featuring his “multimillion-dollar” artwork, which includes the Facebook paintings.

It wasn’t always peaches and roses for Mr. Choe, he had a very hard life, including run-ins with the law, but now he is wealthy. On his Facebook wall, Mr. Choe’s can be seen living the life of a rockstar, partying with scantily clad women and spending large amounts of money on alcohol. In recent weeks, Mr. Choe promoted photos of a $40,000 bottle of alcohol; a single shot, he boasted, costs $888.

Mr. Choe is declining interview requests saying he wants to maintain his privacy.

However, he has a word of advise: “Always double down on 11. Always.”

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