Prof in Media Arts Edits and Designs Book About Street Art Pioneer


Mariah Fox Hausman

Las Vegas, New Mexico p – A New Mexico Highlands University media arts and technology professor edited and designed a book about the creative life of Al Díaz, legendary New York City street art pioneer.

Mariah Fox Hausman’s work is featured in Díaz’ October 2018 book, SAMO© … Since 1978.

“Al Díaz is one of the earliest graffiti artists to gain notoriety when the movement first formed in America during the early 1970s,” Fox Hausman said. “He came from humble beginnings and achieved success that has made a wide impact on global urban culture.

“Díaz’ artistic collaboration with his high school friend, Jean-Michael Basquiat, has been noted often in contemporary art history. They worked together on SAMO©, a late 1970s avant-garde graffiti tag project. Díaz is an influential graffiti writer whose work spans five decades,” Fox Hausman said.

Fox Hausman said Díaz’ new book clarifies, elaborates and illustrates the history and meaning behind the SAMO© writings.

The 232-page book is fully illustrated with color photography, including some historical images, archival material, essays and a graffiti chronology. It also includes diskography of Díaz’ music as well as recommended sources for films, books and periodicals.

“Díaz’ written texts always revolve around cultural trends and issues as well as the human experience,” Fox Hausman said.

Musician and art collector Dave Navarro wrote in a book review, “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.”

“Now in his late 50s, Al Díaz, who began as a first-generation New York City subway graffiti artist, continues to create, exhibit and share his experiences as a participant in the counterculture art scene in New York City,” said Fox Hausman, who is the media arts and technology graduate coordinator at Highlands. “In the last year, Díaz has expanded his work to include large-scale murals, collaborations with other street artists, gallery exhibitions, as well as his subway SAMO© writings.”

Fox Hausman met Díaz in 2014 when she was conducting research for a book she is writing about Basquiat, an American abstract expressionist painter who died in 1988.

Fox Hausman joined the Highlands faculty in 2015. Previously, she lectured for eight years at the University of Miami Department of Art and History.

Fox Hausman completed both her Master of Fine Arts in studio art (multimedia) and her BFA in illustration and graphic design from the University of Miami. She has worked as an art director, illustrator and freelancer for several Miami design firms.

Fox Hausman’s award-winning work is exhibited regularly at galleries across the country and she has contributed illustrations, design and editing to more than 50 books. In 2001, Fox Hausman founded hew own design company, Ital Art Graphic Design and Illustration.

At Highlands, Fox Hausman teaches courses such as Publication Design, Typography, Graphics and Meaning, and Advanced Media Projects.

“My teaching goal is to inspire students to attain their dreams and realize their potential,” Fox Hausman said. “I do this through historical and contemporary contexts, as well as projects designed to engage their creativity. It’s a family legacy to teach, and it’s where I’m happiest.”