“Daze World”, the Artist and Book from City to Canvas and Back

“This is not an autobiography in the practical sense. I didn’t cover the day-to-day minutia of my childhood or formative teenage years all the way to the present. Rather, I have chosen to take the reader on a journey that covers some of the seminal moments in my life. Those moments shaped my art and allowed me to continue to evolve as an artist,” says graffiti/street/studio artist DAZE of the brand new collection of images and essays that make up “Daze World,” the new hardcover from Schiffer.

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

The trains of the 1970s are formative and foundational to the NYC story and Daze is happy to talk to you about his love affair with the cars, tracks, tunnels, yards. Also important to him is his gradual transition in the early and mid-1980s to canvas and galleries.  It is a transition that may be insurmountable, or at least treacherous, for a graffiti writer.

A contributor to the book Jay J. SON Edlin, the noted graffiti historian and author, focuses the reader on this subject of transitions as he lays out the various phases of discovery that the young Chris Ellis went through, including when he left Brooklyn to attend the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan in 1976 with “a who’s who of graffiti’s illuminati.”

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

Here are the photos you love of his trains and early gallery shows, many of which are taken by photographer Martha Cooper, as well those of a wide array of celebrities, night life personalities, and close painting peers over the years – perhaps chief among them his frequent painting partner Crash. There are many collaborative trains and walls that capture the action and interaction as well, such as a 2003 explosion of style and storytelling in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Binho, Ciro, Does, and Fuk – as well as a 1992 wall for the Graffiti Hall of Fame painted with Dez, and Skeme in a photo by Ms. Cooper.

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

The insightful chapter “From City as Canvas to Canvas as City” clearly identifies the transom that Daze has been traveling back and forth on in his 4 decade painting career and writer Claire Schwartz helps us understand the visual vocabulary at work and how Daze developed it over time along with his painting craft. This continuous application of lessons learned on the street and in the studio over the years has landed his work in well regarded private collections and institutions and taken him to cities and opportunities around the world.

As far as Daze’s World is concerned, the artist will tell you “the saga continues…”

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

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DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. 2016

 

All photos taken by and © Jaime Rojo

 

DAZE WORLD: The Artwork Of Chris DAZE Ellis available through Schiffer Publishing.

Chris DAZE Ellis: The City Is My Muse currently on view at the Museum Of The City Of New York through May 31st 2016. Click HERE for further information.

 

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