It’s the ‘Same Old Gallery’ at Basquiat’s Former Studio on Great Jones Street

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

Andy Warhol once owned it. Jean-Michel Basquiat lived, worked, and died in it. Now, the ground level of 57 Great Jones Street is under conversion to a temporary gallery concept inspired by the late artist.

(It was previously occupied by Japan Premium Beef.)

Indeed, one need only scope the name – The Same Old Gallery – an obvious reference to the SAMO tag that Basquiat and collaborator Al Diaz co-created back in 1977. The initials are also the subject of this month-long pop-up show, co-curated by photographer Adrian Wilson and Brian Shevlin from the Con Artist Collective. Diaz will display new works, plus archival photographs from the 1970s.

The gallery joins the silhouette stencil Wilson and Diaz created last month commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of Basquiat’s death.

“Al Diaz is the perfect first artist to exhibit in this most historic of locations,” Wilson tells us. “He will unveil a new body of paintings, collages and graffiti, plus archival photographs of his work from the 1970s. After the gallery closes, the space is being converted into a restaurant, so this literaly is one moment in art history.”

The Same Old Gallery launches to the public next week (September 26).

Basquiat and Diaz coined SAMO as teenagers as shorthand for weed, “The Same Old Shit.” Both wrote suggestive political dichotomies throughout the Lower East Side between 1977 and 1980.

Warhol had purchased 57 Great Jones Street in 1970, and later rented the space to Basquiat in 1983. The artist created a live-in studio here, where he resided for the next five years. Following Warhol’s death in 1987, Basquiat’s behavior deteriorated, and despite plans to leave New York, died from a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988.

Recent Stories

These are the Top Checkouts at NYPL Branches on the Lower East Side

The New York Public Library has just released every bookworm’s favorite year-end list: 2018’s top checkouts systemwide, by borough, by branch, and by genre. This year’s overall victor of the city library stacks was none other than Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. But Lower East Side branches opted for another bestseller. Seward Park and Mulberry […]

Mayor Heads to Chinatown Today to Discuss Revised Jail Plan (Privately)

Mayor de Blasio is headed to Chinatown this morning for a closed-door meeting to discuss the revised plans for a prison high-rise. The private meet-and-greet with Councilwoman Margaret Chin and other “community stakeholders” follows on the heels of Hizzoner’s cancelation of plans to redevelop 80 Centre Street into a 430-foot glassy jail complex. Nixing this […]

Mount Sinai Inks Deal for Rivington House Behavioral Health Facility

An end-of-year surprise. It appears that health care is in fact returning to Rivington House. And allegedly at the expense of condo conversion. Neighbors to Save Rivington House group disclosed this week that co-owner Slate Property Group recently signed a “Letter of Intent” with Mount Sinai Hospital to move its “Behavioral Health” program into the […]

Long-Vacant Pit on 2nd Avenue will be Plugged with 10-Story Condo

It’s been a hole in the ground for the last eighteen years. Next up, more condos. The splintered plywood just below 2nd Avenue and East 1st Street, as well as the First Street Green art park, shields pedestrians from the detritus below. In what was the former footprint of Irreplaceable Artifacts, which was destabilized and […]

Years Overdue, Bowery-Houston Leg of Roadwork Ending; Resurfacing Soon

Tonight is apparently an event not to miss here on the Lower East Side. The intersection of East Houston and the Bowery finally gets its due and proper. Roadwork on this spot is (supposedly) at the finish line, and tonight supposedly begins the resurfacing. A Boogie informant spoke with a foreman onsite who confirmed the […]