David Choe Net Worth, Bio, Artist Career, Personal Life And More

American graffiti artist, graphic novelist, and muralist David Choe net worth is $300 million. Choe has garnered global recognition as a prominent painter, graffiti artist, graphic novelist, and muralist. His artistic endeavors have received immense acclaim worldwide. Notably, Choe is recognized for his published works such as “Slow Jams,” “Bruised Fruit: The Art of David Choe,” and “Cursive,” among others. He is one of the most famous painters and authors due to his numerous creative undertakings.

Who is David Choe?

David Choe is a famous pop artist. He has a lively, energetic style inspired by graffiti. While he has interests in various pursuits such as acting, his core identity remains deeply rooted in his artistry. His artwork frequently delves into themes surrounding animals, human sexuality, and the essence of urban life.

Net Worth in 2023

David Choe net worth in 2023 is an estimated $300 million. He began painting graffiti in Los Angeles in the late 1990s. In addition to graffiti, Choe worked in illustration and graphic design for Nike and Marvel Comics.

His work is infamous in US museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. He also wrote novels like “Bruised Fruit” and “Slow Jams.”

Among his accomplishments was winning the Toyota-sponsored “Faces of the Millennium” art competition. When Facebook encouraged him to paint murals at their headquarters, his career as a painter and graffiti artist took off.

Sources of Income

The primary sources of David Choe’s income predominantly stem from his profession as a painter and graffiti artist. Around 90% of his earnings are generated from the sale of his paintings and murals, often through auctions. Reports suggest that his paintings fetch prices ranging between $199 to $32,760 at exhibitions as of 2023.

However, the most substantial income stream he received was the transformative compensation from his work at Facebook. Instead of a traditional payment, Choe was remunerated with company shares. Currently, the estimated value of these shares stands at around $200 million, marking a substantial portion of his overall wealth.

How Did David Choe Make Money?

David Choe’s income streams stem from various creative endeavors, reflecting his multi-faceted talents and unique artistic style. Choe has made money from podcasting, journalism, music, and acting in addition to art. His creations often mirror urban culture, resonating deeply within the entertainment industry.

A pivotal point in Choe’s career was marked by the publication of his graphic novel, “Slow Jams,” in 1996. While not a major financial success, it significantly enriched his artistic journey. This endeavor allowed him to refine his style, transitioning from a mere graffiti artist to someone capable of captivating attention through his art. In the early 2000s, his ability showed its diversity, keeping his art fresh and engaging.

Although known as an artist, Choe’s considerable gains were indirectly linked to Facebook’s stock price rise. Nevertheless, his career as an artist has been notably lucrative. Besides his Facebook mural, he painted an image of Barack Obama with the word ‘Hope’ during the 2008 presidential election.

Choe played Isaac Cho in the Netflix hit “Beef,” creating an impact. He also created most of the show’s episode title cards, demonstrating his significant influence.

Quick information

Full name David Choe
NicknameDavid Choe 
Birth date April 21, 1976 
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States
Age (As of 2023)46 years old
Zodiac SignTaurus
Ethnicity Korean immigrants  
FatherJane Choe
MotherJimmy Choe
Marital statusUnMarried
Eye colorDark Brown
Hair colorBlack
Height5’7″, 170cm
Weight71Kg, 156lbs
EducationCalifornia College of the Arts
ProfessionProfessional painter, graffiti artist, graphic novelist, and muralist

Early Life and Education

David Choe was born on April 21, 1976, and is from Los Angeles. He was raised in Koreatown. Both of his parents were Korean immigrants and devoted Christians. Choe began drawing at a young age, inspired by “Star Wars” and “G.I. Joe.”

Hex and Mear One, two notable Los Angeles graffiti artists, inspired him to start tagging in 1990. Choe quit high school when the 1992 L.A. riots destroyed his parents’ real estate firm. He hitchhiked around America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East for two years.

Personal Life

David Choe supports initiatives for Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Haiti and participates in art projects with at-risk children through The LIDÈ Haiti Foundation, founded by Rainn Wilson and Holiday Reinhorn. An altercation with a Tokyo undercover security guard landed Choe in prison for three months in the early 2000s. A language barrier caused this. Choe made more than 600 drawings and paintings using tea, soy sauce, blood, and urine in his cell with the only pen allowed.

Choe’s 2014 podcast comments about masseuses’ inappropriate behavior sparked controversy. Choe later recanted, writing that the podcast is fiction. In 2017, artists opposed his Bowery Mural Wall commission. There was a protest against rape culture’s normalization. After the backlash, Choe apologized for his comments, expressing profound regret for any distress. He emphasized the seriousness of non-consensual sex and the inappropriateness of mocking it.

What Made David Choe Famous?

David Choe became famous for his art, which led to great opportunities. His work has been displayed at the White House, a rare honor for artists. His Facebook connection made him wealthy and influential in popular culture.

Sean Parker, then-president of Facebook, discovered Choe’s art in 2007. Choe was able to create murals in Facebook’s headquarters because of this connection. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered Choe an unusual deal when he requested $60,000 for his services. Zuckerberg recommended giving Choe firm stock options instead of cash.

These stock options rose in value after Facebook went public in 2012. Choe became wealthy and famous in pop culture thanks to this unusual recompense.

Art Career of David Choe

David Choe’s artistic journey started with graffiti, which incidentally led to a brief prison stint. Subsequently, he began writing and illustrating for various publications, including “Vice,” and even appeared in the “Vice” web series “Thumbs Up!” from 2007 to 2010. This series chronicled his experiences hitchhiking and train-hopping around the United States and China alongside his best friend, Harry Kim.

His association with “Vice” coincided with his involvement with the pop culture store and magazine, “Giant Robot.” Facing limited interest from conventional art galleries, Choe found an unexpected exhibition space in a Melrose Avenue ice cream shop named Double Rainbow. The positive reception from customers allowed him to display his artwork there for two years, adding new pieces whenever a sale occurred.

In 2006, Choe self-published the graphic novel “Slow Jams,” initially distributing around 200 copies at Comic-Con in 1998. His submission of the novel for the Xeric Grant earned him $5,000 to produce an expanded edition of 1,000 copies. Although initially sold for $4, recent sales on eBay have reached hundreds of dollars.

A documentary titled “Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe,” released in 2008, depicted an intense portrayal of his life. He gained significant recognition through solo exhibitions in San Francisco, San Jose, and the Santa Rosa Museum of Contemporary Art in 2005. Subsequent exhibitions in New York and the UK further elevated his profile.

After that, the Museo Universario del Chopo in Mexico City and “The Choe Show” in Koreatown were notable displays. He voiced the primary character in the 2007 animated feature “We Are The Strange.” Choe also designed Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s 2004 “Collision Course” EP cover.

Achievements and Awards of David Choe

David Choe’s artistic career has been marked by success. Some of his notable accomplishments and milestones:

  1. Taking first place in the Toyota-sponsored “Faces of the Millennium” art competition in 2000 was a major career milestone.
  2. Nicholas Ganz’s 2003 book “Graffiti World,” including Choe and other famous graffiti artists, included his work.
  3. Facebook commissioned Choe to paint murals at their headquarters in 2005. He paid via stock options, which became significant when Facebook went public in 2012.
  4. He was invited to “The Venice Biennale” in 2007.
  5. The 2008 book “Bruised Fruit: The Art of David Choe,” featured his paintings, drawings, and sketches, solidifying his place in art.
  6. He had a solo exhibition at London’s Lazarides Gallery in 2010, cementing his art community presence.
  7. The 2015 documentary “Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe” explored his life and art, increasing his influence.

Even though David Choe hasn’t won an award for his painting, his impact on the art world is highly recognized and cherished.

Real Estate

With a substantial net worth of $300 million, it’s anticipated that David Choe holds impressive real estate assets. Celebrity Net Worth reported that Choe bought a 6,500-square-foot Los Feliz home for $3.1 million. The property sold for $6.9 million in September 2022.

There have been no public reports of the artist and content creator buying more real estate since the Los Feliz sale.

Future Brightness for David Choe?

David Choe’s rise from struggling artist to art and entertainment star has been remarkable. Despite his success, he encounters obstacles that could affect his future. Artist and actor Choe is tarnished by controversy. He has worked on Netflix’s “Beef,” yet these controversies may hinder his success and future prospects.

Choe recounted a massage therapist’s sexual assault on the DVDASA podcast in 2014, provoking controversy. Choe apologized in 2014 and 2017 for the story, saying it was fabricated for shock value and that he made a bad joke. Mental health concerns plagued him at the time of his remarks.

A 2003 fight with a Japanese police officer during an art show resulted in Choe serving a few months in prison. These incidents have damaged his public image and often resurfaced. These controversies may affect Choe’s future. Despite professional consequences, his wealth may allow him to preserve stability.

David Choe Social Media Accounts

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FAQs about david choe net worth

1. How much is David Choe worth? 

March 2023 estimates David Choe’s net worth at $300 million.

2. What are David Choe’s main revenue sources? 

David Choe earns 90% of his revenue from auctioning his paintings and murals. His riches are also derived from stock options he obtained for painting murals at Facebook’s headquarters, which appreciated significantly once Facebook went public.

3. How did David Choe get rich? 

Choe’s fortune came from selling his art, participating in art projects, and accepting stock options from Facebook instead of compensation for murals at the company’s headquarters.

4. What are David Choe’s art accomplishments? 

David Choe has won the Toyota “Faces of the Millennium” art competition, exhibited at “The Venice Biennale,” published “Bruised Fruit: The Art of David Choe,” and held solo art exhibitions worldwide.

5. Has David Choe been controversial? 

David Choe’s 2014 podcast comments about masseuse abuse were controversial. After clarifying, he said these comments were for shock effect and not true. He also had a questionable legal background, including a Japanese altercation that landed him in prison.

6. How does controversy affect David Choe’s career and future?

Choe has faced public scrutiny and some hesitation to support him due to scandals. Despite this, his financial stability and diverse talents make him an important art figure. However, his career history after disputes is unknown.

Wrapping up

According to March 2023 estimates, David Choe is worth $300 million. Financial success and creative praise followed his rise from graffiti artist to painter, graphic novelist, and muralist. Choe’s decision to accept stocks instead of compensation for Facebook headquarters murals contributed to his huge riches, as he mostly made money from painting and mural sales.

Previous statements and legal difficulties have tarnished his career. Choe remains a major art figure despite these problems because to his diverse talents and financial stability. These scandals may affect his legacy and future endeavors.

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