Al Diaz, ‘Except From The Undiscovered 'To-Do' Lists’, 2015, Julien's Auctions
Al Diaz, ‘Except From The Undiscovered 'To-Do' Lists’, 2015, Julien's Auctions

Framed: 47.5 x 8 in.

Al Diaz discovered graffiti in the 1970s and was among the first to import this energy driven art form underground to the subway systems around Manhattan's Lower East Side. When he was in high school, Diaz met Jean-Michel Basquiat, introduced him to the world of graffiti, and conceptualized the now (in)famous SAMO tag together as a pseudo-religious concept and exercise in hype. Within two years, SAMO was so ubiquitous around lower Manhattan that The Village Voice wrote a piece on the duo and their phrase-based messages. Today, Diaz continues to work within the subversive, observational vein of SAMO. Liberating actual subway signs and cutting out letters to articulate his ideas, Diaz is forced to work with a constrained alphabet and tailor or alter the phrase based on the letters he has access to. This [articular piece is entitled Excerpt from the Undiscovered TO DO Lists (2015), which is a parody of the exhibit "Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks," mounted at the Brooklyn Museum

Signature: Signed and dated in black marker lower right "Al-Diaz, NYC, 2015"