Al Diaz and Yoav Litvin to Talk About LES Graffiti History and the Current Scene

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 at 10:24 am by

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Basquiat and Al Diaz, Photo: Street Art NYC

Decades after its introduction, the SAMO tag still intrigues and inspires. Commands respect. It’s so well known that there’s a dedicated Wikipedia page with more than two thousand words. Now its co-creator, Al Diaz, who conceived the idea with high school friend Jean-Michel Basquiat (and also went by “Bomb I”), will talk about the graf scene both past and present.

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative organized a discussion with Diaz and notable photographer Yoav Litvin. “A History of Street Art on the Lower East Side” is slated for Thursday night (July 23).

The SAMO scrawl – pronounced “same-oh” – was a shortening of the phrase “the same old shit.” City lore has it that, sometime in 1977, Basquiat and Diaz were getting stoned and called the weed itself the “same old shit.” From there, the tag took off, finding its way across the downtown scene. SAMO was short-lived, though, and ended in 1980.

The Al Diaz/Yoav Litvin event on Thursday is the first installment of a two-part series at CSV. Graffiti writer YESONE will paint a mural in the back parking lot while explaining process. That goes down the following Wednesday (July 29). Tickets are $15 per evening, or $25 for the two-night shebang. Buy ’em here.

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