Denver got a bargain when David Choe made his mark on the city

davidchoe_denverstreetart_010.jpg
Britt Chester
David Choe's piece looks like a million bucks...or is that $20 million?
The Terminal Kings project was billed as bringing "world-class" art to Denver -- a city that many of us would argue already has world-class artists. But when street artist David Choe, along with Sam Flores and Highraff, was hired to create giant murals that Denver International Airport's Art and Culture program will use as barricades at DIA as the South Terminal expansion project progresses over the next five years, it also got upper-economic-class art.

That's because when Choe did some work for the first Facebook headquarters back in 2005, he took his payment in stock. Stock that could be worth $200 million when the Facebook IPO goes through.

The estimate of that windfall came just days after Choe finished his Terminal Kings work.

And that makes his parting gift to the city even more remarkable: He created a mural on the side of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, at 13th and Champa streets, which passersby can enjoy for free. Too bad Arts & Venues, which found the wall for Choe's project, didn't ask him to give a financial-planning workshop for artists, too. But right now, the city is focusing on letting everyone know that the Choe piece is art and should be protected. "We don't want it tagged," says Kristin Rust of Arts & Venues. "It's got a good, good, good buzz."

And speaking of buzz, here's a video of Choe working with Mark Zuckerberg in the Facebook office.

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