“Al Diaz/SAMO/Wet Paint: Collaborations (2015 to Present)” Exhibition

Van Der Plas Gallery

poster for “Al Diaz/SAMO/Wet Paint: Collaborations (2015 to Present)” Exhibition

This event has ended.

Van Der Plas gallery presents Collaborations (2015 to Present) by Al Diaz, a multi-disciplinary artist with a penchant for graphic text and social commentary.

In lieu of a retrospective, the exhibition debuts the largest collection of Diaz’s work with street art and studio art contemporaries Matt Aaron, Jilly Ballistic, Johnny Davis, Owen Dippie, Mariah Fox Hausmann, Sien Ide, Danny Minnick, Chad Muska, Dave Navarro, and Adrian Wilson.

Diaz describes, “Beginning with Basquiat, my art manifests communication. It’s about cohesion and a good conversation with people that I truly jibe with, in the most authentic sense.” For the first time, viewers will see the oeuvre of Diaz’s artwork that has emerged from his WET PAINT series (2015) to the rebirth of SAMO© (2016).

The exhibit features artworks that vary in scale, style, and medium from graphic stickers on subway tiles and skateboards to massive spray-painted murals on storefronts, and newsstand structures. Although diverse in its surface and canvas, the artworks persist as text-driven and provocative.

Diaz describes, “I consider myself a visual writer, a word artist if you will. Letters are my tools at this point. My artistic process always results in a message in words.” Born and raised in New York, Diaz established his identity within graffiti culture as BOMB-1 by the age of 15. Currently featured in Brooklyn’s Beyond the Streets(2019), Diaz belongs to the pantheon of first-generation graffiti legends that have earned their stripes at genuine risk.

As recently as August 29thof last week in Indianapolis, Diaz’s mural collaboration with Matt Aaron (“matthewaaron”) caused public discord with civil authority. In spite of prior approval from its building owner, city officials demanded the removal of the following message on a brick building in Fountain Square, “SAMO: AS A WELL KNOWN BRAND IN EVERY TOWN ACROSS THE LAND.”

Months prior in February 2019, Diaz was simultaneously recognized by the City of New York for his cultural impact while thwarting off an arrest warrant by the City-Wide Vandals Task Force.

Al Diaz/SAMO/Wet Paint: Collaborations (2015 to Present) exhibition dates include September 9thto October 1stat Van Der Plas, 156 Orchard Street, NY 10002. The opening reception will be on Wednesday, September 11th, at 6 to 8 PM. Hours and information: 12 to 6 PM from Wednesday to Sunday or by appointment on Monday and Tuesday. Phone 212-227-8983. For more information, visit vanderplasgallery.com.

Al Diaz is a visual writer and artist, graffiti iconoclast and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. In partnership with artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Diaz created SAMO© a graffiti phenomenon that originated in lower Manhattan in 1978 and continues to the present day across the globe. As a percussionist, Diaz also contributed to the collectible recording Beat Bop with Basquiat, RAMMELZEE, and K-Rob. Diaz’s work has been shown and privately collected internationally, and formally recognized by the City of New York in 2019. In 2018, Díaz authored SAMO©… SINCE 1978 (Irie Books, 2018). For more information, visit al-diaz.com and @albert_diaz1 on Instagram.



from September 09, 2019 to October 01, 2019

Closing Reception on 2019-09-29 from 15:00 to 17:00

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