Seeing the ‘Same Old Gallery’ on Great Jones Street [PHOTOS]

Posted on: September 26th, 2018 at 5:07 am by

Same old story, same old gallery.

The new NoHo gallery at 57 Great Jones Street, where Jean-Michel Basquiat once lived and worked, opens to the public today. It features artwork from, and inspired by his partner in crime, Al Diaz.

As previously reported, Brian Shevlin from the Con Artist Collective and local photographer Adrian Wilson together curated this month-long pop-up exhibition.

Here’s a sneak peek of the Same Old Gallery. Below is some additional background…

SAMO was an advertising campaign and an experiment in hype marketing. To advance their call for attention Jean and Al wrote several notes to the Soho weekly news where they entered into a cat and mouse game with writer Steven Saban who wanted to get the scoop on who was behind SAMO. An example of a note written to Saban was published in the Soho Weekly in 1978 and is shown here.

First public acknowledgment of the identity of SAMO was by Philip Faflick, of the village voice. Who scooped Saban by offering Jean $100 – Jean took the offer to Al. They did the interview and photo and split the money.

Even before the publicity, about 25 of their friends knew who was behind the graffiti and helped shield their identity. Among the group of friends that knew that Jean and Al were behind SAMO was Jane Barrell (now Barrell-Yadav). Because she was the daughter of the artist, Marcia Marcus, Barrell-Yadav was aware of the importance of documenting art work . One night she shot a roll of film with the intention of capturing examples of SAMO in the neighborhood, three photos of the half dozen Jane shot are on display in this exhibition.

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