The Same Old Gallery opened up in NoHo at 57 Great Jones Street, where Jean-Michel Basquiat once lived and worked. The ground level of the home has been converted to a temporary gallery concept inspired by the late artist. The Same Old Gallery is a reference to the SAMO tag that Basquiat and collaborator Al Diaz co-created back in 1977. In the gallery, Diaz displays new works, plus archival photographs from the 1970s co-curated by photographer Adrian Wilson and Brian Shevlin from the Con Artist Collective. The Same Old Gallery launched to the public September 26 and the month-long show will be up until the space converts into a restaurant.
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.
The same old story, same old gallery.
SAMO was an advertising campaign and an experiment in hype marketing. First public acknowledgment of the identity of SAMO was by Philip Faflick, of the Village Voice. 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. Because she was the daughter of the artist, Marcia Marcus, Barrell-Yadav was aware of the importance of documenting artwork. 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.
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. The gallery is on display at 57 Great Jones Street from September 26 until October 20th and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 2pm-7pm.