In Facebook IPO, color this graffiti artist richly rewarded

David Choe, who took shares instead of a few thousand dollars to adorn Facebook's walls in 2005, stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars from Facebook's IPO.

If you are one of the strange people who care about the very poor, the downtrodden, the forgotten, and the anonymous, you might enjoy the story of David Choe. Even though he's neither poor nor anonymous these days.

In 2005, Choe was privileged to be offered an interesting opportunity -- to paint the walls of Facebook's first office in Palo Alto.

At the time, of course, he had no idea that these odd people would become more important than potentates and politicians. But, as the New York Times paints it, Sean Parker, Facebook's president at the time, offered him a few thousand dollars or the equivalent in shares.

A sample of David Choe's work from his Facebook page. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Choe took the latter, even though, the Times says, he thought at the time that Facebook was "ridiculous and pointless."

Which of us has never gravitated-- or even graffitated-- toward the ridiculous and pointless? In this case, some estimates suggest that Choe will make a passable $200 million from Facebook's forthcoming IPO .

It would be a wonderful story if Choe was down on his luck, sleeping in garages and on friends' sofas, and painting subway trains while running from the police. Wonderful in a literary sense, you understand.

However, you can replace your handkerchief in your wallet, as he is already a very successful artist. He has published a book of his work, which one Amazon reviewer described as "a glorious trip through David Choe's f'ed up mind." The book does include some of the Facebook murals he painted.

Choe's work has been exhibited all over the world and, yes, of course he has a Facebook page.

It offers a glimpse into his life (sample: "Usually not much of a multi tasker, looking at metallic and fluorescent color swatches for vice January cover, texting, taking flicks, and driving with my erection"), his art (both beautiful and aggressive, so only half like Facebook) and his beer.

Choe may be one of the more fortunate lesser-knowns who will benefit hugely from Facebook's success. Perhaps, though, his story offers that you should always follow your passion and hope to get a little (or a lot) of luck along the way.

 

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