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By Nigeria Anderson

The Writing Is On The Wall

AL DÍAZ is best known for his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat and collaboration on SAMO© a well-known graffiti project appearing in lower Manhattan from 1978 to 1980.  Al Díaz’s career spans five decades. Born and raised Puerto Rican in New York City, he was known by age 15 as a prolific and influential, first-generation subway graffiti artist. During the early 70s, his popular and recognized name was BOMB-1. Currently, Díaz works with WET PAINT and other signage used throughout the NYC MTA subway system. After cutting out individual letters to create clever-sounding, surreal and poignant anagrams, he hangs the finished messages in City subway stations.  In 2018, Díaz authored SAMO© 1978, a book meant to clarify, elaborate and illustrate the history and meaning behind the historical SAMO© writings.


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