When teenage graffiti artists and high school classmates Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz began to tag SAMO© on buildings throughout Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s, the pair set off a ripple effect that would have long-lasting effects on each of them.
Distassi Art is proud to announce two limited edition silkscreen prints, marking Diaz’s debut transatlantic partnership. ‘Tolerate Civilization’ sees the New Yorker explore notions of society, with various historical references. ‘Because War is just a 3 Letter Word’ sets military imagery against blooming flowers.
The contemporary art market is soaring, with some of the world’s best investments to be found on the walls of prominent collectors. Given the economic turbulence of the last twenty years, art has remained a stable market - seeing gains where others have dipped.
Street art and politics are closely intertwined, whether that be in terms of inspiration, identity or institution. In its heyday, the New York graffiti scene was subversive; an open call to arms for all those who felt marginalised, unheard and ignored.
The 70’s and 80’s were a seminal period for New York street art, with a number of noteworthy artists emerging at the time. Amongst them was Al Diaz.