Forgotten Names and Places
mixed medium on canvas
30 x 40 inches
Al Diaz is an influential, first generation New York City graffiti artist, who later became a text oriented street artist whose career spans 5 decades. Diaz is best known for his collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO(c), graffiti that appeared in lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. SAMO(c) initially known for its wit and sarcastic humor, became a globally recognized graffito after Basquiat’s rise to fame.
Diaz currently works with the WET PAINT & Service Change Alert signs used throughout the New York City subway system — cutting out individual letters from multiple signs to create clever, surreal and sometimes poignant anagrams. The reworked signage is then posted back onto subway walls. His earlier WET PAINT work is featured in Nicholas Ganz’s new book “Street Messages”. Diaz exhibits regularly and has been a featured speaker on a variety of panel discussions, including at The New School, The Museum of the City of New York, NOLA Arts Festival in New Orleans, and The New York Public Library as part of a discussion panel on the Basquiat Notebooks. Al Diaz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.