CONTEMPORARY ART | LONDON

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DAZE

Born in Brooklyn, Chris Daze Ellis (b. 1962) began his career in graffiti in the mid-1970s as a teenager, tagging subway cars alongside Crash, Seen, Lady Pink, and Futura. The work was neither legal nor socially acceptable, but his love and talent for painting the gritty side of New York.

DAZE

There is something very addictive about it.” – DAZE Born in Brooklyn, Chris Daze Ellis (b. 1962) began his career in graffiti in the mid-1970s as a teenager, tagging subway cars alongside Crash, Seen, Lady Pink, and Futura. 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.

Turning his focus from trains to canvas in the early 1980s, Daze has been one of the most successful graffiti artists of his generation to transition from street to studio. Using spray paint in combination with the more traditional media of oil and acrylic to capture the energy and essence of the urban scene, Daze’s large-scale paintings are a provocative blend of spontaneity and control, abstraction and representation.

Daze’s first group show was the “Beyond Words” show held at the Mudd club in New York in 1981. Showing alongside Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Daze sold his first work, an impromptu collaboration with Basquiat, from this show to Rene Ricard.

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