Thursday, April 22, 2021

Spring forward with Al Diaz

Acclaimed street artist Al Diaz, whose career spans 50 years in NYC, is the subject of a new (virtual) exhibition via the East Village-based Howl! Happening starting tomorrow.

On Tuesday, Diaz added a seasonal touch to the gate at 246 Bowery (at Stanton Street) ... the message reads: "Spring. Nature's Most Optimistic Gesture."

NY1's Roger Clark caught up with Diaz while on the Bowery.
If the letters on Diaz's work look familiar, it's because they are made up of reclaimed New York City Transit Wet Paint Sign characters, and subway system icons.  

"Being a New Yorker and all, it's a kind of ubiquitous alphabet, constrained alphabet, that as commuters we see every day," said Diaz, who makes messages of all sorts with those letters intended to inspire action.
Diaz grew up in the Jacob Riis Houses on Avenue D. He started writing graffiti at age 12. As a teen in the late 1970s, he and his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat collaborated on a series of cryptic messages seen around the city signed from SAMO©

The show at Howl!, titled A Subterraneous Journal, features work that Diaz created during the pandemic. 

Find more info about the exhibit, which is on through May 30, at this link

Previously on EV Grieve:

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