Lot 18


SAMO© (Al Diaz) (b.1959)
"SAMO© With or Without Your Approval" 2020
Signed verso, acrylic on canvas, 25.5cm by 20.5cm

In the late 1970s, when graffiti tagging was in full swing across New York, the word 'SAMO©' began cryptically appearing – sprayed on the city's walls. With slogans such as:


Behind the words were two teens Al Diaz and his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat, who collectively identified as SAMO© and used the moniker as a channel for their angst. It was witty, confusing, and confronting – it got people's attention. Taking the word "SAMO" – which initially stood for "Same Old Shit" – and turning it into a medium for them to vent frustrations, personal jokes, whatever they wanted, through graffiti.

Jean-Michele Basquiat said SAMO© was "supposed to be a logo, like Pepsi." An anonymous, seemingly corporate entity with obscure agendas. By 1978, SAMO© was all over New York City walls.

We're excited to have an original canvas by SAMO© donated to the auction by Al Diaz. SAMO© is a vital part of the early story of New York graffiti.

Donated by the Artist

Artist's Resale Rights/Droit de Suite may apply to this lot, please refer to our Terms of Business

Sold for £420
Estimated at £100 - £200


Auction: Urban and Contemporary Art Timed Auction in aid of York Food Bank, ending 20th Oct, 2022

This timed charity auction is organised by Bombsquad, a York-based non-profit community arts organisation passionate about street and contemporary art.  Bombsquad aims to enrich the cultural landscape of York whilst raising money for local charities. 

The auction forms part of Totally Hammered, Bombsquad’s second fundraising event which brings together artists from the street and contemporary art worlds to raise urgently needed funds for York Food Bank.  In addition to the timed auction, there will be a fundraising celebration event on 20th October at The Crescent Community Venue, York including live art demonstration, DJ and free draw to the raffle with every ticket purchased.  

All works have been kindly donated by an impressive roster of artists including; -  Sweet Toof, Rowdy, Lushsux, Jimmy Cauty, Al Diaz, Jo Peel, Gavin Turk, Dan Cimmermann, Dot Masters and many more.  Bombsquad will also be contributing by including artworks from their own collections including a Banksy.   On selected lots, bidding will start at £50 to offer opportunities for new and seasoned collectors alike.  All proceeds from this timed auction will be donated to York Food Bank, registered charity 1154149

Please view the auction and bid for your chance to win an amazing piece of art whilst supporting York Food Bank at this critical time. 

For all enquiries relating to the sale, please contact Bombsquad: John Lundberg 0771 5754018 or Lee Lambley 07791 665563

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