CHRIS “DAZE” ELLIS - “DA” Watercolor on Arches. Size measures 11”x 12” 2005.
Very few of prolific graffiti ‘writers’ who flourished during the 70’s and 80’s have survived the transition from street to studio. Chris ‘Daze’ Ellis is among those whose work has provided a powerful and continuing record of an exciting outlaw era of painting. Daze, more than any of the muralists, has successfully conveyed an ongoing message about the mean streets, a segment of the urban cultural experience ignored by more conventional painters. Many of his paintings and watercolors are peopled by characters who at once frighten and amuse. His street scenes are parties where artists, cops, hookers, pimps and musicians mingle. These cartoon-like figures are humorously drawn, but beneath the pleasantness is a more serious subtext. Daze was recognized early on as one of the masters of the graffiti movement.