Photos of the Al Diaz art opening at Cherokee Street Gallery by Rebecca Bolte 2018
Al Diaz is coming to Cherokee Gallery
Al Diaz and Jean Michel Basquiat collaborated on the creation of the enigmatic graffiti tag "SAMO©", pronounced "same oh" as in "same 'ol shit" or "same 'ol thing." It was a blasé expression of boredom in reaction to the repeated patterns of daily activity offered by modern life. Diaz and Basquiat worked to build the SAMO© concept by writing short cryptic slogans on the streets of New York City from 1977 to early 1980 tagged with the name SAMO©. According to Diaz, "SAMO© was never intended to be a person." It was meant to be a brand or place holder for the empty promises presented by religion and consumer culture. Basquiat took over the SAMO© identity for a while as his art world alter ego, but Diaz says it was never intended to be that and he presents an alternative viewpoint of what the enigmatic SAMO© actually was.