Daze /   Chris Ellis

United States 1962



Chris Ellis
United States
March 10, 2014
Jean is researcher and author for Widewalls. jean.gallard@widewalls.ch

Few artists can be attributed with starting a complete art movement. With the 20th century having quite a few new directions in art initiated, one that keeps growing and reaching its full potential in contemporary times is street art. One of the artists that not only contributed in forming street art as we know it but had successfully managed to transition to the studio environment is Chris “Daze” Ellis. Working in line with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Daze uniquely described the meanness of the streets during the late years of the past century and continues to make distinct works today, both on canvas and city streets.

Chris Daze Ellis - Agenda Painting #17, 1999 (Left) ; Agenda Painting #22, 2007 (Right)
Chris Daze Ellis – Agenda Painting #17, 1999 (Left) ; Agenda Painting #22, 2007 (Right)

Meanness of the Street

Starting out as a graffiti artist in the city of New York, Daze’s artistic journey started out as he painted the gray subways and city walls with distinct colors. He lived and worked in the time of other great “initiators” of street art like Basquiat and Haring, and though he shared their enthusiasm and mastery over the craft, he carried a unique style and energy that can be seen in his works. Delving into the part of society that was largely overlooked by fellow artists, Daze was able to carry across the meanness of the street that constituted the urban life of the 70s and 80s, and he did so unrivaled in his portrayals. As the years passed, Daze managed to shift from these so-called “urban adventures” towards not only many public art projects that are a part of his artistic oeuvre, but a completely new setting altogether.

Daze carries a unique style and energy that can be seen in his works

Chris Daze Ellis - Kiddyland Spirits, 1995
Chris Daze Ellis – Kiddyland Spirits, 1995

Successful Transition

With his first ever exhibition next to Basquiat and Haring, Daze managed to sell his first piece and in the following year of 1982, the first solo exhibition took place. It became a starting point for his successful transition into the gallery space and though he creates murals to this day, Daze’s output on the canvas became prolific and widely known. Taking his outdoor depictions from the street into the studio, Daze became one of the few artists that can be credited with accomplishing this feat, maintaining the enticement of his murals in his paintings.

Daze’s output on the canvas became prolific and widely known

Chris Daze Ellis - Wind Over Water, 2010
Chris Daze Ellis – Wind Over Water, 2010

Worldwide Output

Today, Chris “Daze” Ellis is known both for his painting works and murals; some of the public works he’s done over the years include the mural for the Star ferry terminal in Hong Kong, designing an entire train station in Hannover (Germany), mural for the Vivo City shopping center in Singapore, among others. More so, his professional career includes work that spans more than just art creation, as Daze held lectures at the Bronx Museum Hofstra University, as well as youth workshops with kids during the Hutuz festival in Rio de Janeiro. With an output that has covered galleries, streets, and cities worldwide, Chris “Daze” Ellis remains one of the prolific artists of our time.

Chris Ellis lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Chris “Daze” Ellis. Photo credits wirednewyork.com. All other photos credit the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Now and LaterAvant Garden Gallery, Milan, ItalySolo
2015Coney Island: Visions of an American DreamlandBrooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015Impact1975 Gallery, Rochester, NYGroup
2015Fashion Moda, 35 Years LaterWall Works, Bronx, NYGroup
2015All Types of CharactersJosh Liner Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2015Here Lies1975 Gallery, Rochester, NYGroup
2015New WorksGalleria del Palazzo, Florence, ItalySolo
2015The City is My MuseMuseum of the City of New York, New YorkSolo
2015New York Meets the DamThe Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2015SideshowThe Edgewood Gallery at Yale University of Art, New Haven, CTGroup
2015Coney Island: Visions of an American DreamlandThe Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CTGroup
2014Depth of SubstanceSucculent Studios, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2014SucculentSucculent Studios, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2014Point.Focus.ClickWall Work, Bronx, NYGroup
2014First TasteWall Work, Bronx, NYGroup
2014Loisada: New York’s Lower East Side in the 80’sAddison Gallery of American Art at the Phillips Academy, Andover, MAGroup
2014From Blade and Daze to Lee and Rammellzee: American GraffitiMuseum de Wieger, Deurne, NetherlandsGroup
2014Indigo DreamsTT Underground Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2014Street Talk: Chris Daze Ellis in Dialogue with the CollectionAddison Gallery of American Art at the Phillips AcademySolo
2014Black Book MastersDirtypilot.comGroup
2014City as Canvas, New York City Graffiti from the Martin Wong CollectionMuseum of the, City of New York, New York, NYGroup
20132nd Bienal Internacional Graffiti Fine ArtMUBE, Sao Paulo, BrazilGroup
2013Group ShowGaleria Matilha, Sao Paulo, BrazilGroup
2013Graffiti: In the BeginningSpace Junk Art Center, Bayonne, FranceGroup
2013Write of PassageRed Bull Space, New York, NYGroup
2013Graffiti Mash UpFay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GAGroup
2012Chris DAZE Ellis, New Prints and EditionsEmperial Gallery @ Camaradas El Barrio, New York, NYSolo
2012This Side of ParadiseAndrew Freeman House, Bronx, NYGroup
2012From Subways to Galleries, Art from the UndergroundGallery 69, New York, NY Group
2012Hall of FameGallery Speerstra, Bursins, Switzerland Group
2012Speerstra CollectionFoundation Speerstra, Apples, SwitzerlandGroup
2012Black Book Mastersdirtypilot.comGroup
2012High Maintenance, a Tribute to Stay High 149dirtypilot.comGroup
2012Nose BleedFuse Gallery, New York, NY Group
2012The Boneyard Project, Return TripPima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZGroup
2011The Grey ScaleKnown Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2011Paper TrailShadow Space Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2011SongsFuse Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011Hall of FameSpeerstra Gallery, SwitzerlandGroup
2011Art from the StreetsMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Martha Cooper: RemixCarmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Art, Access and Decay: NY 1875-1983Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Dear Japan, We Love YouBenefit at Open House Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011Group ShowAlba Art Gallery, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2011Graff CityOpera Gallery, Paris FranceGroup
2011Melange of Street ArtHelenbeck Gallery, Nice, FranceGroup
2011Graffiti Art, 40 Years of ExpressionismGrimaldi Forum, Monte CarloGroup
2011Paths of RhythmFuse Gallery, New York, NY Group
2011AbstractionsOpera Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011Graff in the CityOpera Gallery, Paris, France Group
2010Daze in SingaporeFortune Cookie Projects, SingaporeSolo
2010Daze, Tuscan Sun Festival
The Palazzo Casali, Cortona, ItalySolo
2010Daze Solo ExhibitionWatergate GallerySolo
2010DazeChang Art Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2010DrawMuseo De La Cuidad De Mexico, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2010Public ConsumptionThe Puffin Room, New York, NYGroup
2010Down By LawEric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NYGroup
2009While the City Sleeps, Reflections from the 3rd RailGallery Speerstra, Geneva, SwitzerlandSolo
2009Daze/CrashAdhoc Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New YorkSolo
2009Fat Caps and Burnt RacksAndenken Gallery, Denver, COSolo
2009Iʼm so hot!Galerie Helenbeck, Nice, FranceSolo
2009DrawWhite Walls, San Francisco, CAGroup
2009Martin Wongʼs Downtown CrossingsAsian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, New York, NY Group
2009Le Tag au Grand PalaisGrand Palais, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Then and Now: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Center ShowGay and Lesbian, Community Center, New York, NY Group
2009Group ShowV1 Gallery, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2009Coming from the StreetFoundation Cartier, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Whole in the WallHelenbeck Gallery/Splashlight Studios, New York, NYGroup
2008DazeGalleria del Palazzo, ItalySolo
2008South Bronx to NaplesEntropy Art in Progress, Naples, ItalySolo
2008Group ShowRecoat Gallery, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
2008Group ShowBernaducci Gallery/Meisel Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2008DrawStolen Space, London, EnglandGroup
2007Fabulous DisordensCaixa Cultural, Rio de Janiero, BrasilGroup
200770’s ShowPowerhouse Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2007Charity by NumbersCorey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007Ballpoint Pen Drawing ShowCinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2007Joyride33 West 17th Street, New York, NYGroup
2007JoyrideCollette Store, Paris, FranceGroup
2007Group ShowGalleria del Palazzo, Florence, ItalyGroup
2007Group ShowReCoat Gallery, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
2007Graffiti StoriesMusee Paul Valery, Sete, FranceGroup
2007Graffiti StoriesMusee International Des Arts Modeste, Sete, FranceGroup
2007Visual SlangHenry Street Settlement, New York, NYGroup
2007DrawGallery Lombardi, Austin, TexasGroup
2007Group ShowEU Gallery, Miami, FL Group
2006The Climate PaintingsGalleria del Palazzo, Florence, Italy Solo
2006The Climate PaintingsMy Own Gallery, Milan, ItalySolo
2006The Climate PaintingsGalleria Del Pallazzo, Pietrasanta, ItalySolo
2006New PaintingsMidoma, New York, New YorkSolo
2006GraffitiBrooklyn Museum, New York, NY Group
2006New York’s OwnFuse Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2006Banned From Televsion 7Canal Chapter, New York, NYGroup
2006DrawFuse Gallery, New York, NY Group
2005Mulheres PerfectoGalerie Speerstra, Paris, FranceSolo
2005Paint Away The Pain w/Mode21300 Gallery, Cleveland, OhioSolo
2005Installation Scion Art TourCassius King Gallery, San Diego, CA Group
2005Traveled to McCaigWelles Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005The New York Yankees and the American DreamTampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FLGroup
2005Group ShowModern Culture, New York, NYGroup
2005Writers vs. RidersUpper Playground, New York, NYGroup
2005ABC no RioBenefit Auction, Dietch Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005The Munny ShowDrive By Studios, New York, NYGroup
2005Group ShowAndrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004NudesGalerie Speerstra, Paris, FranceSolo
2004Group ShowProsper Gallery, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2004Tag the SystemThe Showroom, New York, NYGroup
2004War and PeaceWoodstock Gallery of Art, Woodstock, NYGroup
2004The Subway SeriesBronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NYGroup
2004East Village USAB-side Gallery, New York, NY Group
2004East Village USAThe New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NYGroup
2004KosmopoliteTaxie Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2003ElevationGalerie Speerstra, Paris, FranceSolo
2003Daze/SharpDiner Bar, New York, NYSolo
2003DazeProsper Gallery Tokyo, JapanSolo
2003Graffiti in PrintProsper Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003Daze, Done, CrashMidoma Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003On LineFeigen Contemporary, New York, NYGroup
2003Howl! Opening Night Artists BallAngel Orensanz Center, New York, NYGroup
2003Group ShowGallery Speerstra, Paris, France Group
2002The Adgenda PaintingsGalerie Speerstra, Paris, FranceSolo
2002The Sketchbook PaintingsEastwicke Gallery, Chicago, IllinoisSolo
2002PortraitsSteven Vail Gallery, Des Moines, IowaSolo
2002The New York Armory ShowModern Culture, New York, NYGroup
2001Daze & the Kids from the Urban Art ProjectKreuzlingen, SwitzerlandSolo
2001Works on PaperProsper Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2001Elevated Stations and InteriorsModern Culture at the Gershwin, New York, NYSolo
2001This is the Modern WorldModern Culture, New YorkGroup
2001Crash, Daze,Sharp, New PaintingsPace University Gallery, New YorkGroup
2001Safe Harbors - Auction to Benefit the Point Community Development _x000D_ Corp. Pacifico Fine Arts, NYGroup
2001Aerosol ArtNo Name Gallery, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2001I Love New York Benefit for the World Trade CenterModern Culture, Nework, NYGroup
2001The Armory Show 2001Pier 90, New York, NYGroup
2000DAZEAtelier Laderhof, Stockholm, SwedenSolo
2000The Agenda Paintings and MonochromesEastwick Gallery, Chicago, IllinoisSolo
2000Zurich Art FairProjects united, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2000Group showAZ NY Gallery, Scottsdale, ArizonaGroup
2000Toronto International Art FairAndrew Edlin Fine Arts, TorontoGroup
2000Art MiamiAndrew Edlin Fine Arts, Miami, FLGroup
2000TectonicLa Panaderia, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2000LandscapesSchloss Brunegg, Projects United, Kreuzlingen, SwitzerlandGroup
2000Milano Contemporary Art FairProjects United, Milan, ItalyGroup
2000Summer ShowDFN Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2000The Base and the BeautifulAndrew Edlin Fine Arts, Hoboken, N.JGroup
2000Frederick Wiesman CollectionPepperdine University Museum, CaliforniaGroup
2000Coming from the UndergroundSteven Vail Gallery, Des Moines, IAGroup
2000Graffiti at Guernsey'sPuck Building, New York, NYGroup
2000NYCENTURYMuseum of the City of New York, New York, NYGroup
2000In the CityModern Culture, New York, NYGroup
1999WORKS ON PAPER, 1990-99Masterpiece Gallery, Birmingham, MichiganSolo
1999DAZE, CRASH, ON THE EXPRESS TRAINFeldkirch, AustriaSolo
1999DAZE, CRASH, AMERICAN GRAFFITIMusee D'Art Moderne et, Nice, FranceSolo