- Press Release by Sarah Sansom
Al Diaz @ Same Old Gallery
Al Diaz Selected Works
Same Old Gallery
Opening Party September 26, 7pm
57 Great Jones Street, NY 10012.
Street art pioneer Al Diaz, co-creator of SAMO©… with Jean-Michel Basquiat, holds the premiere art exhibit and premier book launch in the building where his old friend Jean-Michel Basquiat lived and worked.
Featuring original paintings, collage and graffiti, “SAME OLD GALLERY” is a temporary gallery project curated by Adrian Wilson of The Inutilious Retailer, Brian Shevlin from The Con Artist Collective, and
Al Diaz and Adrian Wilson at Same Old Gallery 9.25.18.
Al Díaz and Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960-August 12, 1988) stoked public intrigue in 1977 as teenagers when they began tagging their SAMO©… writings throughout New York City.
Building on the fame gained from his conceptual art collaboration with Díaz, Basquiat turned more to studio work and, thanks partly to a later collaboration with Andy Warhol, shot to art star status. His career sadly onlyl asted 10 years but his iconic popularity has continued to grow: in 2017, his painting Untitled (1983) sold at auction for $110.5 million. Basquiat lived and worked out of 57 Great Jones Street from 1983-1988, which Warhol had bought in 1970.
Flag, 2018, mixed media on sheet metal.
Now in his late 50s, Al Díaz is a first-generation New York City graffiti artist who continues to create, exhibit and share his experiences as a key figure in the counterculture art scene of New York City. The SAME OLD GALLERY will showcase a new collection of mixed media works of various sizes, archive photographs and SAMO©… related ephemera are all available for sale.
Tear Stuff Up and SAMO© 4U, 2018, mixed media on canvas.
“A true pioneer of the street and a living legend, Al is still cranking out
work today while his commentary remains as timely and poignant as ever.”
- Dave Navarro, musician (Jane’s Addiction) and art collector.
Click here for a 360 view of the writer's back room.
'SAMO is a graffiti tag used on the streets of New York City from 1977 to early 1980. It accompanied short phrases, in turns poetic and sarcastic, mainly painted on the streets of downtown Manhattan.
The tag, written with a copyright symbol as "SAMO©", and pronounced Same-Oh has been primarily associated with the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, but was developed mainly as a collaboration between Basquiat and Al Diaz, with help from a few friends.'
- Wikipedia SAMO entry.
Díaz will be premiering his newly developed book “SAMO©… SINCE 1978” to elaborate, illustrate and clarify the history and meaning behind the SAMO©… writings. The book is edited and designed by academician Mariah Fox, and published by Irie Books (October 2018). The attractive 232-page case bound book features color images throughout, essays and a graffiti chronology by Díaz and Fox.
Signed books will be on hand for purchasing at the gallery after October 14.
Al Diaz Selected Works
57 Great Jones Street, NYC
September 27th to October 20th 2018
September 26, 7pm
Open Tuesday through Sunday 2pm to 7pm
Saturday October 13th 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Artist Talk and Signing
Sunday October 14th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm
October 20th 4:00pm to 6:00pm
For more information about the artist visit Al-diaz.com
Supported by the generosity of Play Earth Inc. Bohemian Restaurant, Lazy Susan Gallery and The Con Artist Collective.