Chris “Daze” Ellis “Cya” Marker on paper. 11″×14″ Signed and dated 2012
"Roaming around storage areas are often where I often spend my days, and where I have made many of my best personal discoveries. It was in the archives of the Museum of the City of New York that I first came across the treasure trove of black books that came to be featured in the recent exhibition and companion publication City as Canvas.
When Dirty Pilot asked me to look around their virtual “back pages” to look for a selection of overlooked gems, I gladly accepted. What is better than the thrill of the hunt? The results are a selection of work from the “back room” that are exceptional pieces by some of the masters of this art form – be it the iconic tag of TAKI 183, the psychedelic bubble stylings of PART ONE, or the comic book influenced spray can man and “Jack Kirby krackle” of DR. REVOLT,
Regardless of whether these treasures are created with pens, markers, paint, or spray paint, the common thread is lettering. It was the origin and will always be at the heart of this particular art form.
My treasure hunt is now yours to enjoy. Make a few discoveries of you own."
Sean Corcoran, Curator at Museum of the City of New York
More about the show at MCNY - http://www.mcny.org/content/city-canvas
Chris Daze Ellis began his prolific career painting the gritty New York subways inthe mid 70!s while attending the High School of Art & Design. He is one of the few artists from that period to make the successful transition from the subways to the studio. His first group show was the “Beyond Words” show held at the Mudd club in New York in 1981. Showing alongside artists such as Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Daze sold his first work, an impromptu collaboration with Basquiat, from this show. His first solo show was held a year later in 1982 at Fashion Moda, a gallery in the Bronx. Since then he has had countless solo shows in such cities as Monte Carlo, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, Beijing, Chicago, and Singapore. His work has also been included in numerous group shows and museum surveys internationally. Alongside these museum and gallery exhibitions Daze has also completed many public art projects over the years. Some of them include completing a mural for the Star ferry terminal in Hong Kong, lectures at Hofstra university and the Bronx Museum, completing the design of an entire train station in Hannover, Germany alongside fellow artists Lee Quinones and Crash, youth workshops with kids during the Hutuz festival in Rio de Janeiro, and completing a mural for the Vivo City shopping center in Singapore. Daze!s paintings have found themselves in the private collections of Madonna, and Eric Clapton among others. His work can be found in the permanent collections of such museums as The Museum of Modern Art in New nYork, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and The Ludwig Museum in Aachen, Germany. Daze continues to live and work in New York City.