Al Diaz is best know for his collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO©, graffiti that appeared in lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. SAMO© initially became known because of its wit and sarcastic humor; but became a globally recognized graffito after Basquiat’s rise to fame.
A prolific and influential first-generation NYC subway graffiti artist, who later became a text-oriented street artist, Al Diaz’s career spans 5 decades. He currently works with WET PAINT signs used throughout the New York City subway system. After cutting out individual letters to create clever, surreal and sometimes poignant anagrams, he hangs the finished works in subways stations throughout New York City. His WET PAINT work was featured in the 21st Precinct Street Art Event ( July,2014) , a solo show at “Outlaw Arts” (March, 2015) and will appear in the upcoming book, “Street Messages” by Nicholas Ganz.
He has been a featured speaker on a variety of panel discussions, including at The New School, The Museum of the City of New York, and NOLA Arts Festival in New Orleans.
Contra Gallery and Distassi Art will be showcasing original artwork from some of New York and Londons most celebrated and influential artists from the 80’s and beyond!