In the period from 1976-1977 until 1979 Basquiat realized, in collaboration with Al Diaz, many graffiti using the ‘SAMO©’ tag. It accompanied short phrases, in turns poetic and sarcastic, primarly painted on the streets of downtown Manhattan. Examples of this prases are: “SAMO© AS AN END TO MINDWASH RELIGION, NOWHERE POLITICS, AND BOGUS PHILOSOPHY”, “SAMO© SAVES IDIOTS”, “PLUSH SAFE HE THINK; SAMO©.” “SAMO© 4 THE SO-CALLED AVANT-GARDE”, “SAMO© AS A CONGLOMERATE OF DORMANT-GENIOUS” .
An article by Philip Faflick appears in “The Village Voice” in December 11, 1978, about the ever-present SAMO© writings, which have generated considerable interest around New York. The article, accompanied by a photograph, identifies Basquiat and Diaz by their first names only, Jean and Al, like the authors of carefully placed sentences.
Shortly after the article in The Village Voice, Basquiat and Diaz ended their collaboration in SAMO©, and “SAMO© is dead” begins appearing on various SoHo walls.
On this page there is a collection of graffiti photos made by Basquiat and Al Diaz with the SAMO© tag.