Korean-American artist David Choe is in the midst of working on a piece for the Bowery Mural, at the intersection of Houston and Bowery. The piece replaces “Urbanmythology” by Spanish street artists Pichi&Avo and features Choe’s signature bucktoothed whale – three of them so far, in fact.

Choe at work

Choe is perhaps most famous for his murals in the Facebook headquarters, which he accepted stock in exchange for payment for the commission, and subsequently made a $200 million windfall in the social media network’s IPO. Choe, who hails from Los Angeles, has had his portrait of Barack Obama shown in the White House, created the cover art for the album Collision Course by Jay-Z and Linkin Park, and worked on Hollywood film sets . He also appeared in Anthony Bourdain’s Los Angeles episode of Parts Unknown.

Update: Within four days of completion, the mural was defaced by the Big Time Mafia graffiti crew and another tagger. The latter tag, which read “RAPIST” was clearly in response to the controversy surrounding Choe’s admitted sexual assault towards a masseuse, which he recounted in a podcast with pornstar Asa Akira. Big Time Mafia left a large BTM  in large black letters. We have seen little vandalism at the Bowery Mural over the years, so this incidence is definitely significant.

Next, check out past iterations of the Bowery Mural and check out 21 outdoor art installations not to miss in June.