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

There is a Rooftop Soccer Field on this Madison Street Building

The Ground is where soccer meets tar beach. Down in Chinatown, where Madison Street meets the de-mapped Mechanics Alley, beside the Manhattan Bridge, is a one-story warehouse dedicated to soccer. The Ground, which recently relocated from Monroe Street, opens later this week at 130 Madison. And with it, an indoor soccer field and rooftop pitch. […]

Revisiting the Rise of Brooks Brothers on the Lower East Side

Last week, Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the coronavirus shutdown and fashion trends toward casual. Two firms are vying to acquire the 202-year-old formal wear company and inject new capital. Ergo, the time seemed appropriate to revisit the store’s connection to the Lower East Side. Brooks Brothers was actually founded near […]

Decapitated and Dismembered Man Found Inside East Houston Condo Building

The body of a decapitated, dismembered man was found inside a Lower East Side condo yesterday afternoon — purportedly stuffed in plastic bags beside a power saw. According to the New York Post, police arrived at the bloody scene shortly after 3:30pm Tuesday, responding to a welfare check placed by a friend of the deceased. […]

The New York Public Library System Begins Reopening with ‘Grab-and-Go’ Service

It’s a somewhat return to normalcy for library lovers. After a four month temporary closure, the New York City public libraries are figuring out how to operate during the coronavirus outbreak. Yesterday marked the reopening of 22 branches across the five boroughs. Eight of the locations will allow for limited, grab-and-go service; patrons will have […]

Bette Midler Tweets Opposition to$1.45B East River Park Resiliency Plan

Coronavirus be damned, it appears the city is still on course to begin destruction of the East River Park this fall. And Bette Midler is not happy. “The idea of destroying parkland during a pandemic, where people are desperate for open space is insane,” the superstar singer tweeted to her 1.7 million followers last night, […]