Friday, August 19, 2005


I am obsessed with Ellis G.'s sidewalk art. He has spent the summer creating pieces like this, using chalk and the shadows created along the sidewalks of my neighborhood. And, as I've been able to learn online, some adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods. Time Out NY did a piece on him back in June:

If you've been hitting the strip along Brooklyn's Smith Street lately, you may have noticed the chalk sidewalk drawings outlining the shadows of utility poles—all signed ©ELLIS G. It turns out they have an only-in–New York back story. About a month ago, artist Ellis Gallagher, 31, was mugged in the foyer of his Cobble Hill home. "I saw this shadow on the front door," he recalls. "It was this guy with a two-foot-long machete saying, 'Gimme your money!'"

The thief made off with $82. Gallagher called the cops, who caught the perp later that night. End of story, if not for an admitted case of posttraumatic stress. "I'd jump every time I saw a shadow," Gallagher says. "That's when I started the drawings—as self-medication."

Since I got my new camera, I've been carrying it around hoping for a good example to post here. The bikes are my favorite - the intricacy of the spokes are beautiful - and he seems to have been focusing on more bikes in the past week or so. The difficulty in getting a good pic, of course, is that chalk disappears - shoes, delivery carts, rain, stores with diligent sidewalk cleansing routines. Ellis G. has started signing his art with copyrights for 2006 & 2007, and one blogger suggested that it's to give it a future presence that it otherwise wouldn't have.

Note: I don't know what all of those black dots are, but you see them randomly on the sidewalks, esp. on corners. My theory is that they are wads of gum that get welded into the concrete over time. I could be wrong - but they are all over this picture.


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4:07 AM  
Anonymous ELLIS G> 2007 said...

For Immediate Release:

KILI is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by


Continues through 12/1/05 @ KILI
81 Hoyt St. bet. State St. and Atlantic Ave. Bklyn NY
A,C,G Trains to Hoyt/Schermerhorn or 2,3,4,5,B,D,N,R,Q to Atlantic/Pacific

Artist's Statement:
I have never experienced an art form more all consuming than graffiti. At one point, graffiti had a very firm grip on my life and lifestyle- it was the last thing on my mind before going to bed and the first thing that came into my head every morning. From acquiring supplies and photographing a finished work, to wandering the city trying to find the perfect spot to paint and marking the terrain along the way, graffiti motivated almost every move I made. Even perils with the law, fights with rival writers and injuries sustained while out on missions couldn't have ended my relationship with graffiti. I still love it to this day.
The death of a friend and fellow graffiti(HEC UFC REST IN PEACE) artist while we were bombing the F train tunnel between Bergen and Carroll Street in 2001 caused me to take a less active role in graffiti. Deeply affected by the tragic loss I chose to channel my energy into other artistic endeavors. Since then, I have participated in a number of group shows displaying the talents of graffiti artists as well as traditional artists. While I use canvas, wood, metal as well as found objects, I remain true to my roots and try to incorporate the essence of graffiti into everything I produce. I continue to use the tools of the trade (paint markers, spray paint, homemade writing implements) in my work; while I have transitioned to the less controversial use of chalk for my street art.
This show is dedicated to the graffiti life and the ongoing struggle graffiti artists continue to face today. I have massive respect for the forefathers of graffiti who paved the way and pioneered this art form (do the research). The graffiti writer's struggle is not limited to running from the police and fighting court cases, but it also lies in the ongoing battle we face to transition from being understood by mainstream society as a "vandal" to a legitimate and commercial artist. Even though graffiti has inestimably influenced our entire environment- from music and fashion to advertising, architecture and graphic arts, many graffiti artists remain anonymous and unrecognized by mainstream society.
Writing graffiti is putting out public art for people who normally wouldn't go to a museum or gallery. All of my chalk drawings are like graffiti in that respect, although they are temporary. They capture a moment in time. Ironically they have spawned from an un-pleasurable moment in time, one that Time Out NY has called an "only-in-New York back story." However, I'd like to thank my machete wielding assailant and his shadow for inspiring me to create my drawings on the streets and these pieces on display. I hope that they make a difference in people's lives- they sure have made and continue to make a difference in mine.

Ellis Gallagher 2005

Ellis Gallagher is a native New Yorker. As the graffiti writer formally known as "NET," his work can be found in the five boroughs and environs, The Brooklyn Front Gallery, in Autograf: New York City's Graffiti Writers by Peter Sutherland (Powerhouse Books 2004), as well as in numerous newspapers, magazines, on television and in films. Currently a street artist known as Ellis G., Gallagher's work has appeared in Time Out NY, the NY Daily News, Trampoline House Gallery, as well as on NY 1 and The WB 11. Gallagher will publish his first book "Adhesives," the ultimate compendium of graffiti, graphic design and street art stickers in fall 2006 with Miss Rosen Editions for Powerhouse Books.


3:12 AM  
Anonymous ellis g. said...

2:58 AM  

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