Interview with New York graffiti legend DAZE

Hi Daze it’s such a pleasure and such an honor to interview you for streetart360 .
Much appreciated you taking the time for answering.

Can you tell us why did you choose DAZE as your artist name?
I chose my name based on the letters that I could do best at the time. I went through a couple of names for short periods but then I started to think about which letters I had the most style for. Thus I came up with DAZE. At the time not many people had the letter”z” in there names so it was kind of original. Chasing a name that no one else has is very import. It’s the beginning of establishing your identity.

graffiti legend from New York.DAZE Portrait by Les Jones
DAZE Portrait by Les Jones

You’re an important Member of the Renowned Group of NY Graffiti Artists like Lee Quinones and Jean-Michel Basquiat… that broke out of the South Bronx in the 1970s.
What is your best memory of this period? Can you tell us an anecdote about this time when graffiti was illegal and considered as vandalism.
Well first of neither of those guys are from the Bronx. They are from Brooklyn and the lower east side. The period I believe you are referring to is the late 70’s. At this time New York was not the city it is now. It was dangerous and very edgy. It was also pretty much bankrupt. It’s important to recognize that the comic climate of the city was pretty bad at the time. What came out of that was a more do it yourself ideology. We didn’t wait around for permission or sponsorship deals. We worked with the materials and the means at hand. Hip hop and punk rock culture came out of this mentality. It was not about social media, how many “like” you can get or how many people were following you. Your credibility was established by what you did. Information was handed down by word of mouth and though informal mentorships.

Is there any specific message in your artworks ?
My works don’t really carry a specific message as a whole. I’m trying to capture moments of urban life that everyone can relate to.

Daze graffiti legend from New york

What do you think of Graffiti art nowdays ?
Graff now is interesting in some ones and other ways not. I don’t like the roll social media plays in all of that. It’s very artificial. On the other hand I see work technically that is amazing and surpasses anything I could have ever dreamed of. I still think that no matter what your doing legally or illegally it’s important to put in the time and devotion to it. If you want to be taken seriously you’ve have to be serious.

Can you tell us more about your artistic projects ?
In terms of my studio practice I have an exhibition right now at PPOW gallery in New York called “Daily Commute” which is all about my daily travels through out the city. I have a show in Paris at Speerstra gallery coming up called ” Portals” which also contains views of the city both above ground and below. I have a lot of murals planned throughout the summer. Painting walls is still a very important part of what I do. I’m not about to retire any time soon.

Would you like to say something specific to streetart360 readers ? Thank’s a lot my friend.
Be true to yourself and others will follow. Don’t jump into the game because you want instant fame and recognition. Show commitment and have a good work ethic people will notice.

More informations: WebsiteInstagram 

DAZE Graffiti Art

Daze Graffiti in 1980
DAZE Graffiti in 1980
Daze Brooke Avenue 1980
DAZE Brooke Avenue 1980







DAZE Beijing China 2010
Beijing China 2010
DAZE Baton Rouge 2014
Baton Rouge 2014
DAZE buenos aires argentina 2016
Buenos aires argentina 2016
DAZE Graffiti 2017
Graffiti 2017
Daze graffiti in Long Island City NY 2016
Long Island City NY 2016
DAZE Vitry sur Seine 2017
Vitry sur Seine 2017 – Collab with Vitry’N Urbaine 



All pictures by DAZE




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