Chris “DAZE” Ellis (b. 1962, New York, New York, U.S.) began his prolific career painting New York City subway cars in 1976, while attending the High School of Art and Design. He remains one of the few artists of his generation to make the successful transition from the subways to the studio. His first group show was the seminal Beyond Words at the Mudd Club in 1981. Soon after, his first solo exhibition was held at Fashion Moda, 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.
Since then he has exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions in Paris, Monte Carlo, Singapore, Beijing, Florence and Buenos Aires. DAZE’s work has continued to be included in many group shows and museum surveys internationally. Notable solo exhibitions include: Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1984; Musée d’art Moderne, Nice, France, 1999; Fortune Cookie Projects, Singapore, 2010; Addison Gallery of American Art at The Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 2014; and The Museum of the City of New York, 2016.
Alongside these exhibitions DAZE has completed many public art projects over the years including: a mural for the Star Ferry Pier in Hong Kong in 1993; the design for an entire train station alongside artists Lee Quiñones and CRASH in Hanover, Germany, in 1995; and contributing as art consultant to Baz Luhrmann’s 2016/2017 Netflix series, The Get Down.
In addition to the many public projects completed, DAZE has worked in collaboration with students since 1994 in New York, U.S.; Seoul, South Korea; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Palaia, Italy; Port au Prince, Haiti; and Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.
DAZE continues to live and work in New York City.
DAZE painting in London, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.