Chris Daze Ellis
New York, 535 West 22nd Street
P·P·O·W is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Chris Daze Ellis. Daily Commute will feature paintings, drawings, and pastels that reflect Daze’s exploration of and reflection on New York City, a subject that has always permeated his work. Daze first gained notoriety as a teenager in the late 70’s and early 80’s for painting on subway trains and city streets, before transitioning to painting on canvas and showing at alternative and established art spaces around the world.
Daily Commute will feature works in multiple mediums, including spray paint, oil, acrylic, and ground pumice, often all used within the context of a single painting. Daze’s works simultaneously capture the energy and spontaneity of the graffiti movement, while also revealing a more meditative process and technique, with works featuring thick brush strokes and a layered use of paint that pay homage to artists like Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Joan Mitchell.
The works on view capture the day to day scenes that together comprise life in New York City – the interior of a subway train, a subway platform, Times Square on a snowy evening, a streetscape in the Bronx or Brooklyn – revealing both the artist’s personal history while also creating a capsule of a particular moment in time. The paintings and drawings on view reflect the diversity and complexity of the city, often through layered works that evoke the true character of a place. With works like Eastern Parkway, Daze brings into a single frame the oversized eyes of a passerby witnessing the scene, a Hasidic man exiting a Subway stop, a Caribbean woman running errands – all set against the background of Eastern Parkway. The works take the form of snapshots captured in an abstract frame, reflecting Daze’s position as an ever-observant artist and his experiences as a native New Yorker collecting memories to reinterpret and depict.
On view through March 17, 2018