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Ellis Gallagher. Courtesy of Collective Hardware Gallery.

Ocular Echoism: The Autonomy of Ellis Gallagher

Collective Hardware Gallery
169 Bowery, production@collectivehardware.com
East Village / Lower East Side
July 23 - August 6, 2009
Reception: Thursday, July 23, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site


In his highly anticipated debut solo exhibition, Ellis Gallagher continues his creative quest in de-objectifying the common street icon and transforming it into the surreal. His sidewalk chalk drawings of the city’s overlooked objects – mailboxes, garbage cans, street signs, bicycles etc. – have become a trademark in street art culture worldwide. OCULAR ECHOISM: THE AUTONOMY OF ELLIS GALLAGHER is collectively the artist’s most ambitious body of work to date and includes limited edition screenprints, original photography, skate decks, fire tags and an indoor New York City street scene installation, garbage included.

Ellis Gallagher’s shadow chalk drawings traverse pre-conceived perceptions of street art’s brevity by manipulating the impact of the ever-changing city landscape, transforming it into a sublime stand still. His graffiti writing roots have evolved into an outlet that speaks and interacts with its viewers by engaging in an ongoing, lucid conversation between the artist and city residents. Aesthetically, chalk as a medium behaves perfectly to accomplish Ellis Gallagher’s mission to transpose the mundane into something magical. It’s temporal, opaque, and transcendental, removing the viewer from his or her own personal reality and subjecting them to question something else all together, A renewal of their surroundings that are experienced every day.

Existing only as a reflection of his environment, Ellis Gallagher’s work spatially considers the everyday object and the study of transitory light and color. In daytime, He aims to perfectly enclose projected shadows, capturing their essence in a chalk outline. The constant battle between the art and the fleeting sunlight sanctions these drawings as being more rare, more beautiful. However, beneath the static glow of the city’s street light, Ellis Gallagher can transcend the cityscape into his own playground of glowing, vivacious shadows.

Curated by THE DE L’AUTONOMY MISSION, OCULAR ECHOISM: THE AUTONOMY OF ELLIS GALLAGHER animates these concepts into the interior space of the Collective Hardware Gallery, staging an ethereal environment of visual resonance.

About Ellis Gallagher:

Ellis Gallagher is a native New Yorker that was born in Manhattan in 1973. He has made his name through paramount innovations in street art culture. His chalk etchings outlining the shadows of everyday objects are the evolutionary result of his former graffiti writing career. His graffiti works can be found across New York City’s streets, In Europe, Asia, as well as in magazines, newspapers, film productions and beyond. He has exhibited in numerous galleries including Sara Tecchia Roma New York, Chasama Gallery, Dia Gallery, Ad Hoc Art, Also in conjunction with many site-specific installations and commissions stateside and abroad. His work has also been featured on the covers and pages of The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The New York Daily News, Mass Appeal Magazine, The Village Voice, The Brooklyn Paper, Artnet Magazine, Art Forum, Area Revue France, Der Spiegel Germany, H Magazine Spain and numerous other publications. Currently, Ellis Gallagher is actively working and living in Brooklyn, New York. His first book, “Adhesives,” is to be published with Powerhouse Books and will feature spreads of graffiti and street art stickers, The ultimate compendium for contemporary urban art lovers the world over.

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