A Look-Back at DAZE: The City is My Muse at The Museum of the City of New York in 2015




The City Is My Muse: DAZE 2015

As we look forward to Chris ‘Daze’ Ellis’ solo exhibition #GiveItAllYouGot at P·P·O·W Gallery, we thought it a good time to reach back into our archives and take a second look at the Chris ‘Daze’ Ellis solo exhibition, The City is My Muse at the Museum of the City of New York in 2015.

Chris ‘DAZE’ Ellis, 2015,, The City is My Muse at the Museum of the City of New York

The City is My Muse included new works, older paintings and memorabilia. Below are a few pictures from the solo exhibition held at the Museum of the City of New York in 2015.

Born in New York City in 1962, he began painting subway cars in 1976 while attending The High School of Art and Design.

His first group show was the historic ‘Beyond Words’ at the Mudd Club in 1981, curated by Fab 5 Fred Braithwaite and Keith Haring. Included in this exhibition,, Charlie Ahearn, Lee Quinones, Lady Pink, Kenny Scharf, John Sex, Tseng Kwong Chi, Iggy Pop, alan Vega, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, and Zephyr + others.

Mermaid Parade 1999, Gouache on Arches paper ~ Coney Island Pier Study 1999, Pastel & colored pencil on paper. Collection of Dirtypilot.com

(Image above) For more than a century, Coney Island has been a place
where New Yorkers escape their metropolitan life by
soaking up the sun on the beach or daring the thrill of the
amusement rides. In 1983, Dick Zigun-known to many as the
“Mayor of Coney Island”-conceived and organized the first
Mermaid Parade, New York’s equivalent of Mardi Gras. The
event celebrates the beginning of summer, and participants
typically dress in nautical themes. It is also known for
occasional nudity. Ellis began to photograph the parades in
the 1990s and eventually created several paintings based on
the event. He noted, “I loved the fact that it was so free and
uninhibited. It seemed as if the rest of New York had no idea
what was going on in Coney Island.”

Shortly after the exhibition at The Mudd Club, DAZE had his first solo exhibition at Fashion Mode, an influential alternative art space in the South Bronx. One year later the Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany acquired the first of several paintings for their permanent collection.

DAZE is one of the few street artists from his generation to successfully transition from the subway to the studio.

Top: ‘On The 4 Line’ 2001,, Oil and spray paint on canvas; Bottom: ‘Two Worlds, 2003, Oil and spray paint on canvas

Daze has completed many public art projects over the years including: mural for The Star Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong in 1993, completing the design for an entire train station alongside artists Lee and Crash in Hannover, Germany, in 1995, mural for the Dreamland Social Club, Creative Time, in 2004, art consultant for Biz Luhrman’s Netflix series,”The Get Down”, 2017, commissioned mural for the law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, Washington DC, 2018

‘Eastern Parkway’ 2014; Oil, spray paint, acrylic, and wood on canvas

In Addition to the many public projects completed, Daze has successfully worked in collaboration with students since 1994. He has worked in communities within various cities such as New York, Seoul, Korea, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, Palaia, Italy, Port au Prince, Haiti and Andover, Massachusetts. He is a regular contributor to the Leap Arts Program and Thrive collective in New York.

Daze’s paintings have found themselves in many private collections including Eric Clapton, Natalie Imbruglia and Madonna. His work can also be found in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, NY, Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Museum of the City of New York, The Ludwig Museum, Aachen, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, and Addison Museum of American Art at the Phillips Academy, Andover

Chris ‘Daze’ Ellis, 2015

Follow Chris ‘Daze’ Ellis on Dazeworld and on Instagram. See you at P·P·O·W Gallery for the exhibition DAZE: Give It All You Got. The artist continues to live and work in New York City.