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

More than 100 Speakers Lambast Two Bridges Mega-Towers at City Planning Hearing

Yesterday was a day of reckoning for the Two Bridges community on the waterfront. The City Planning Commission held the final public hearing regarding the Environmental Impact State for a trio of controversial skyscrapers along South Street. As previously reported, three developers (JDS Development, Starrett Corp., CIM/L+M) together seek “minor modifications” to the current zoning […]

Trader Joe’s Debuts on the Lower East Side Tomorrow Morning

Get ready to queue, Lower East Side. Trader Joe’s is coming. The newest grocery location opens tomorrow morning after two years in the making. The new Essex Crossing outpost – situated in the basement of 400 Grand Street – is lucky number seven for the ubiquitous grocery store in Manhattan. It’s being lauded as the […]

McNally Jackson Books Faces $500K Rent Hike

Last week, we broke news that McNally Jackson Books is leaving its Prince Street headquarters next spring after fourteen years on the block. Eponymous owner Sarah McNally allayed the sadness by saying that they settled on a new space nearby. Reason for the abrupt departure is an astronomical rent hike. Until now, amount of the […]

Public Hearing on Two Bridges Skyscrapers Happening this Morning

Today is a pivotal day in the life of the proposed super-tall towers on the Lower East Side waterfront. The City Planning Commission is holding the final public hearing later this morning on the controversial application for the three new large-scale developments. Members of the public who attend will have a chance to speak (three […]

Russ & Daughters Expands with 14K Square-Feet at Brooklyn Navy Yard

Much like its centenary sister on East Houston (i.e. Katz’s Deli), Russ & Daughters is expanding into Brooklyn. The famed appetizing business – founded on the Lower East Side in 1914 – is planting a major flag at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Taking up 14,000 square-feet of space in Building 77. It’ll include a production […]