Meet the legendary graffiti artists who inspired ‘The Get Down’
When Chris “Daze” Ellis was growing up on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, he saw a subway car parked in the Utica Avenue station that made him stop and stare. A buxom blonde had been painted on it, her hair cascading onto the car’s roof, along with the lettering “Blade TC5.” The year was 1975. Ellis was 13-years-old. “Seeing that really inspired me,” says Ellis, now 54. “When I saw that train, I knew it wasn’t really a random act. It was planned out.” By the time Ellis was a student at New York’s High School of Art and Design, he would meet other teenage boys whose imaginations were fired up by the faces and words spray-painted onto the battleship-gray subway cars of the 1970s. Everyday they gathered at the East 149 Street subway station to watch the trains, sketch the graffiti by older writers and develop ideas.