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Eastern Parkway Chris Daze Ellis Untapped Cities AFineLyne

Chris “Daze Ellis: The City is My Muse opens today at the Museum of the City of New York, an exhibit that takes you on a visual journey as Daze moves from painting trains to painting the New York City of his youth on canvas. Readers may remember Mr. Ellis from his group exhibit last year – “City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection” also curated by Sean Corcoran, the Museum’s Curator of Prints and Photographs. Here you will find a familiar and colorful display of paintings, photographs, etchings and ephemera, both recent and earlier work

Chris 'Daze' Ellis at Museum of City of New York Untapped Cities AFineLyneChris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse at the Museum of the City of New York

Born in Brooklyn, “Daze” began painting trains in 1976, while at The High School of Art and Design in New York. The work was neither legal nor socially acceptable, but his love and talent for painting the gritty side of New York, along with its subways, brought him to the attention of Sam Esses, an art collector who wanted to introduce the city’s gifted graffiti artists to a studio setting. The following year, “Daze” was in his first group show, “Beyond Words” at the Mudd Club – alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith HaringCrash, Zephyr, Lee Quinones and others, where he sold his first work. A year later, he had his first solo show at Fashion Moda in the Bronx.

The City is my Muse - Christopher Daze Ellis MCNY Untapped Cities AfinelyneThe exhibit is a mix of original works and recent paintings

“Daze” is one of the few artists from that period to successfully transition from street artist to studio artist. Internationally, he has exhibited in museums and galleries, and completed public art projects including a mural for the Star Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong and designed an entire train station in Hannover, Germany alongside fellow artists Lee Quinones and Crash. His work can be found in the private collections of Madonna and Eric Clapton, to name a few, and in the permanent collections of museums such as The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Museum of the City of New York.

Chris Daze Ellis Staten Island Ferry MCNY Untapped Cities AFineLyneChristopher “Daze” Ellis standing in front of The Odyssey (Staten Island Ferry)

Chris 'Daze' Ellis at MCNY Untapped Cities AFineLyne

Eastern Parkway Chris Daze Ellis Untapped Cities AFineLyne“Eastern Parkway” Oil, spray paint, acrylic and wood on canvas

The exhibit, Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse will be on view through May 1, 2016. An accompanying event, The City Is My Muse: Artists in Conversation, will take place on December 8 at 6:30 pm at MCNY. The event will feature three leading contemporary artists – Christopher “Daze” Ellis, Jane Dickson and Lee Quinones – in a discussion about how New York City’s environment, culture and daily life have inspired their work. The panel will be moderated by Sean Corcoran, the Museum’s Curator of Prints and Photographs. Scroll down for more works by Daze that you’ll see at the exhibition, and while you’re visiting, do not miss photography exhibit Jacob Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half or Affordable Housing: A New York Legacy.

Chris Daze Ellis Untapped Cities MCNY AFineLyneFrom the Grey Scale Series of paintings

Daze - Museum of the City of New York Untapped Cities AFineLyne

The City is My Muse at MCNY Chris Daze Ellis Untapped Cities AFineLyne

MCNY Untapped Cities AFineLyne Chris Daze Ellis

Chris Daze Ellis at Museum of the City of New York Untapped Cities AFineLyne

The City is My Muse at MCNY Chris Daze Ellis AFineLyne Untapped Cities“On the 4 Line” 2001;  “Two Worlds” 2003

Daze-Times Square Etchings-Untapped Cities AFineLyne MCNYTimes Square, 2015 Etchings

Read more about street art in New York City. What else have we seen at MCNY? Click here. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.

1 Comment

  1. Maria says:

    Very well impressed by DAZE work. I liked to way he is so present in his world, his time. How he is committed to his community.

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