David Choe Net Worth, Early Life, Career, Real State & More

David Choe Net Worth, Early Life, Career, Real State & More

David Choe net worth is $300 million. David Choe is an American artist well-known for his varied skill sets in painting, graffiti, graphic novels, and murals. His distinctive figure paintings and the iconic bucktoothed whale symbolize his prominence in the graffiti realm. Choe’s creative endeavors have graced the pages of notable magazines such as “Hustler,” “Vice,” and “Ray Gun,” showcasing his versatile artistic prowess.

Beyond his visual artistry, Choe ventured into the world of podcasting, co-hosting the popular “DVDASA” alongside adult film star Asa Akira. Additionally, he has authored several books including “Slow Jams” (1999), “Bruised Fruit: The Art of David Choe” (2002), “Cursiv” (2003), and “David Choe” (2020), each offering unique insights into his creative journey.

Choe’s impact extends to the realm of documentary filmmaking, notably being featured in the 2008 documentary “Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe,” which delves into his life and work. Moreover, his charismatic presence has graced television screens through appearances on shows like “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (2013), “Vice” (2014), “Better Things” (2019), and even the widely acclaimed “The Mandalorian” (2021).

Prominent Accomplishments of David Choe 

David Choe’s artistic prowess has garnered him recognition in esteemed institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. His novels, notably “Bruised Fruit” and “Slow Jams,” have not only earned critical acclaim but have also contributed to establishing him as a versatile artist.

However, one pivotal moment in Choe’s career came when Facebook approached him. This encounter marked a significant turning point in his fortunes, as the social media behemoth’s interest would ultimately reshape the trajectory of his wealth.

David Choe Facebook Payday

Back in the early 2000s, David’s graffiti caught the attention of none other than Sean Parker, the then-President of Facebook. Parker enlisted Choe’s talents to adorn the walls of Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. When negotiations commenced, Choe boldly stated his fee: $60,000.

Parker, taken aback perhaps, consulted with CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the matter. Zuckerberg, displaying his trademark foresight, proposed an alternative: rather than cash, Choe could opt to receive his payment in company stock. It turned out to be a stroke of genius.

The exact number of shares Choe received remains a mystery, as it wasn’t substantial enough to warrant disclosure in Facebook’s financial filings.What is known, though, is that when Facebook went public with its IPO, David Choe’s equity was valued at about $200 million. With Facebook’s stock price rising at an exponential rate since its IPO, it is very possible that at some point Choe’s holdings may have reached as high as $300–500 million.

David Choe Early Life

David Choe came into this world on April 21, 1976, right in the heart of Los Angeles, California. Growing up in the vibrant neighborhood of Koreatown, he was raised by Korean immigrant parents who were devout Christians.

In his formative years, David’s artistic inclinations began to take shape. Inspired by the likes of Los Angeles graffiti artists Hex and Mear One, he delved into drawing, with “Star Wars” and “G.I. Joe” figures becoming early muses.

Be that as it may, in the midst of the violent occasions of the 1992 L.A. riots, David’s life went off in a strange direction. He had to pursue a hazardous decision after his family’s land organization burst into flames. Subsequent to exiting secondary school, he set out on a unimaginable two-year odyssey, going by bumming a ride through Europe, Africa, America, and the Center East.

Upon his return to California at the age of 21, David sought to further his artistic pursuits. He enrolled at the California College of the Arts, but his academic journey was short-lived as he dropped out after just two years, opting to carve his path through the unpredictable terrain of the art world.

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David Choe Career

David Choe’s journey through the art world has been as colorful as his creations. His foray into graffiti led him down unexpected paths, including a stint in prison. Upon his release, he found solace in his parents’ home, where he channeled his creative energy into writing and illustrating for various publications, most notably “Vice.”

During this time, Choe’s adventures were documented in the “Vice” web series “Thumbs Up!” (2007–2010), where he and his best friend, Harry Kim, embarked on daring escapades hitchhiking and train-hopping across the U.S. and even traversing China.

As his relationship with “Vice” blossomed, so did his involvement with the pop culture hub “Giant Robot.” Faced with lukewarm reception from art galleries, David took matters into his own hands. He transformed the humble setting of Melrose Avenue’s Double Rainbow ice cream shop into an unconventional gallery space, where his artwork found a receptive audience.

In 2006, Choe self-published his graphic novel “Slow Jams,” a labor of love that initially saw a limited release. However, after receiving the Xeric Grant, he was able to publish an expanded edition, garnering wider acclaim and fetching high prices in subsequent years.

The spotlight intensified with the release of the documentary “Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe” in 2008, offering a glimpse into his complex persona. Solo exhibitions followed, from San Francisco to New York, showcasing the breadth of his talent.

In 2013, Choe’s watercolors captivated audiences at the Museo Universario del Chopo in Mexico City, while his invite-only exhibit “The Choe Show” in 2017 offered an intimate look into his creative process.

David Choe Personal Life

David Choe’s philanthropic endeavors have seen him lending his talents to various charitable causes. He’s contributed to fundraising efforts for Wyclef Jean’s Yle Haiti and has engaged in painting sessions with at-risk children through The LIDÈ Haiti Foundation, spearheaded by “The Office” star Rainn Wilson and his wife, author Holiday Reinhorn.

However, Choe’s life has been marked by moments of controversy and redemption.He spent three months in prison following a confrontation with an undercover security guard in Tokyo during the early 2000s. In spite of the difficult conditions, he made the most of his incarceration to produce an astounding collection of work, which includes more than 600 drawings and unusual paintings created with tea, soy sauce, blood, and pee.

In 2014, David stirred controversy when he admitted on his podcast to exhibiting “rapey behavior” towards a masseuse, later claiming the podcast content was fictional. This sparked outrage and led to protests when he was commissioned to paint the Bowery Mural Wall in 2017. Artist Jasmine Wahi, among others, organized demonstrations against Choe, aiming to shed light on the normalization of rape culture. In response, David publicly apologized for his past remarks, expressing remorse for any harm caused and emphasizing the seriousness of non-consensual sex.

Real Estate

Contributing a cool $3.1 million, David purchased an open 6,500 square foot property set in the wonderful Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2010. Nonetheless, in September 2022, David pursued the choice that a change was fundamental. At $6.9 million, he recorded his extravagant home available, showing a significant expansion in the property’s worth over the long haul.


  • David Choe is a multi-capable craftsman referred to for his work as a painter, spray painting craftsman, realistic writer, and muralist.
  • He earned far reaching respect for his unmistakable figure artworks and notable symbolism, for example, the bucktoothed whale, inside the spray painting world.
  • Choe has worked together with different magazines, including “Trickster,” “Bad habit,” and “Beam Weapon,” and co-facilitated the “DVDASA” digital recording with porno star Asa Akira.
  • He is the writer of a few books, including “Slow Sticks,” “Wounded Natural product: The Craft of David Choe,” “Cursiv,” and “David Choe.”
  • Choe was highlighted in the 2008 narrative “Grimy Hands: The Craftsmanship and Violations of David Choe,” which gave bits of knowledge into his life and work.


What is David Choe’s net worth?

David Choe’s net worth is estimated to be around $300 million, primarily amassed through his successful career as an artist and various entrepreneurial ventures.

What is David Choe’s background?

David Choe was born on April 21, 1976, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in Koreatown and is of Korean descent. His parents are Korean immigrants and devout Christians.

How did David Choe’s involvement with Facebook impact his wealth?

David Choe painted murals at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley and opted to receive company stock instead of cash payment. This decision resulted in his equity being valued at around $200 million at the time of Facebook’s IPO.

What controversies has David Choe been involved in?

David Choe has faced controversies, including a stint in prison, provocative remarks made on his podcast, and protests against his artwork due to past comments.

Final Words

David Choe’s creative vocation has been recognized by his uncommon imagination, soul of business, and incidental discussion. Choe’s excursion from humble starting points in Koreatown to getting acclaim for his craftsmanship on a worldwide scale embodies creativity and constancy even with difficulty. Notwithstanding the promising and less promising times in his profession, he enduringly affects both the craftsmanship world and mainstream society with his significant commitments.

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