David Ellis American, b. 1971


David Ellis is a multimedia painter and installation artist whose work emphasizes the passage of time, sound, and both planned and improvised collaborations. “I had been trying to paint music my whole life,” the artist once said. Among his most iconic works are “motion paintings,” in which Ellis continuously renders marks on the surfaces of public walls and floors; he photographs the process and presents it as a time-lapse film. Ellis is also known for his kinetic sound sculptures that make use of motors, and also for staging performances and music events during his exhibitions. Recurring motifs in his work include tobacco-stained paper, icons of Americana, and pianos. Ellis studied with Robert Breer and Hans Haacke at Cooper Union, two artists that are among his most significant influences.