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"Al Díaz has been one of the most important and influential voices in graffiti and street art since the 70s. A poet, with sarcastic and sometimes brutally honest commentary on sociological issues as well as political issues, Al's words have inspired laughter, anger and deep contemplative thought about who we are and where we are going as a society. With each phrase, Al seems to be saying, 'Think what you want, but this is how it is. Here is the truth, do with it what you will.' Al has since gone on to creating his phrases using cut up letters from WET PAINT signs and subway materials to actually bring the street into the gallery or home while remaining true to his original vision and message. A true pioneer of the street and a living legend, Al is still cranking out work today while his commentary remains as timely and poignant as ever."
- Dave Navarro
"Dave came up with the idea of using the old ‘KIDS GONE MISSING’ milk container campaign to address what’s missing in today’s world. He created the milk container image and asked a few different artists to fill in the blank space underneath the ‘MISSING.’ This was my response to his initiative....”
- Al Díaz
Dave Navarro is best known as a member of the alternative rock band Jane's Addiction and as a former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He also released one solo album “Trust No One.” Navarro has also been a member of the Jane's Addiction spin-off bands, Deconstruction and The Panic Channel. Allmusic's Greg Prato described him as "one of alternative rock's first true guitar heroes", with an eclectic playing style that merges heavy metal, psychedelia, and modern rock.
Outside music, Navarro is host and one of the judges on Ink Master, an American tattoo competition reality show now in its eleventh season on Paramount Network and an avid art enthusiast.
Al Díaz is best known for his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat and collaboration on SAMO©…, a well-known graffiti project appearing in lower Manhattan from 1978 to 1980. The tag and text slogans became known quickly on the streets and in the local newspaper media because of their wit and sardonic humor. Since Basquiat's rise to fame, the SAMO©… legend has become a globally recognized graffito and has been celebrated as cutting social commentary throughout contemporary art history. Al Díaz's career spans five decades. Born and raised Puerto Rican in New York City, he was known by age 15 as a prolific and influential, first-generation subway graffiti artist. During the early 70s, his popular and recognized name was "BOMB-1." After high school and the SAMO©… period, Díaz began to practice musical percussion, and created recordings, including a performance on Basquiat's collectible 1983 early hip-hop album, Beat Bop which also featured Rammellzee and K-Rob. After being "on the scene" during the 80s Avant-garde art boom, for many years Díaz honed his craft as a foreman/lead carpenter in the New York building industry. He resurrected his SAMO©…moniker publicly in late 2016 and works with found transit signage to create his “WET PAINT” series of text-orientated collage pieces.
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