After a good fifteen years in the graffiti game, Ellis decided to mix things up. Taking a stick of chalk to the street led him in a new direction. After choosing an object (perhaps a bicycle or fire hydrant), he works quickly to chalk a vibrant outline around its shadow. Each shadow remains frozen in time long after the sun's position changes or the object gets moved.
In addition to his chalk pieces, Ellis also keeps it spicy with his trademark fire-tagging. "I did it once at a friend's place on a piece of plywood back in 1999," he remembers. "I didn't revisit it until late 2008. I was working in a gallery and I was bored, so I decided to cop a tag on the bathroom wall and set it ablaze." Since those early endeavors, he's experimented and improved his technique.
Don't think for one second that chalking is easy; before I spoke with Ellis, he'd been picked up by the cops. (Will they start going after children next? Clearly my early hopscotch days were a violation.) "There's always the risk of being arrested," he insists. "I have spent many a night in central bookings. Not fun."