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Brooklyn Street Art

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Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is His Muse

Posted on January 30, 2016

Active on the city’s urban art scene since the 70s and 80s as a teen hitting up trains on the Broadway line, this New Yorker transitioned to studio art thirty five years ago and never lost his love for his city. Currently on view at the Museum of the City of New York, this collection rightly typifies an era and is the best way to appreciate the inspirations that have driven him.

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DAZE. Reflections on Time Square #2. 2013. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There are personal and topical narratives here and storylines to investigate, always rendered with the distinct DNA of the original aerosol train writers, his own style and undampened sense of wonder throughout.

Looking at the collaged approach to painting figurative scenes you may feel like they are frozen in a moment, a near relief of archetypes, character, symbols and typical New York scenes assembled at different perspectives.

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DAZE. Electric Boogaloo. 1982. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

His people are ones you recognize, sometimes with ghosts mingling with the earthbound. Coney Island and the beach, the Staten Island Ferry, Times Square, taxi cabs, police – these are his memories colored brightly and rendered palpable.

“City as Muse” ultimately is a commentary and diary that fuses memory with emotion, attesting to an undimmed romance with NYC.

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DAZE. Revisitn a Dream. 2004. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. Coney Island Pier Study. 1999. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. Parachute Drop. 1997. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. The Duel. 2012. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. Queensborough Plaza. 2010. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. The Odyssey. 2015. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. The 7 Yard. 2011. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAZE. Portrait of Daze by Tom Warren and Tagged by Chris “Daze” Ellis. 1983 Chris “DAZE” Ellis: The City Is My Muse. Museum Of The City Of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Chris “DAZE” Ellis” The City Is My Muse is currently on view at the Museum Of The City Of New York. Click HERE for more information.

See Daze February 9th at 6:30 with Alan KET and Nick Walker for “Urban Art Legends

See Daze March 2nd at 6:30 with BSA’s  Steven Harrington & Jaime Rojo for “Street Art Stories”

 

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