June 16, 2013 –

Al Diaz, veteran NYC graffiti artist, creates a surprising amount of messages, anecdotes, warnings, insults, etc. using the characters available from the WET PAINT signs we see throughout the NYC subway system.

The signs are ubiquitous, boldly legible, and plentiful just asking to be used.  By cutting up the letters, Al came  up with a surprising amount of combinations. In 2011, after having developed his signs to a level he was willing to share with others, he began to post them on various subway station walls throughout the city. He has a list of almost a thousand words made with these 9 characters (using multiple signs).  Being a veteran of subway spray painting and text oriented graffiti (SAMO) the influences, although not obvious, are very present.

Wet Paint

Al Diaz is best know for his collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO©, graffiti that appeared in lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. SAMO© initially became known because of its wit and sarcastic humor; but became a globally recognized graffito after Basquiat’s rise to fame.is best know for his collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO©, graffiti that appeared in lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. SAMO© initially became known because of its wit and sarcastic humor; but became a globally recognized graffito after Basquiat’s rise to fame.

He currently works with WET PAINT signs used throughout the New York City subway system. After cutting out individual letters to create clever, surreal and sometimes poignant anagrams, he hangs the finished works in subways stations throughout New York City. His WET PAINT work was  featured in the 21st Precinct Street Art Event ( July,2014) , a solo show at “Outlaw Arts”  (March, 2015) and  will appear in the upcoming book, “Street Messages” by Nicholas Ganz.