A prolific NYC subway writer turned text-oriented street artist, Al Diaz is best known for his collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat on SAMO©, graffiti that appeared in Lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. The provocative tags featured short, enigmatic messages and slogans — a departure from the purely ego-based works of their predecessors and a glimpse of trends to come. Diaz has recently revived the SAMO© legacy both on canvas and in the streets with new works that speak to the modern era.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Martha Cooper.