A Graffiti Artist’s Life-Changing Decision

In 2005, Facebook — which was a start-up social networking site at the time — approached graffiti artist and muralist David Choe with a proposition: Paint one of his famous murals on the office walls for $60,000 or shares of company stock. Choe chose the stock, and when Facebook announced its IPO to raise $5 billion, Choe made an estimated $200 million. The murals are still in the Facebook offices today. The now-50-year-old says he has never gotten used to having that much money. “You can’t buy your privacy back,” said Choe. He says, in fact, that while it might sound horrible to some people, the money is really meaningless to him. “I did everything I wanted when I had nothing.” Now, he’s hounded by every news organization in the world, trying to get an interview. Since 2008, Choe has dedicated many of his works to charity and has collaborated with foundations to support their local causes. Even today, Choe considers Facebook’s business model to be “ridiculous and pointless.”