Dan Witz is a Brooklyn Born New York based street artist and realist painter. Consistently active since the late 1970s, Witz is one of the pioneers of the street art movement, throwing all the way back to painting hummingbirds in the streets of New York in the 70's. Even back then it was clear that his art was headed in a different direction. While other street artists were using spray paints and bold blocky colours, Witz' images were comparatively calm and realistic in style.
He gradually started painting in a hyper-realistic manner, depicting people, alone or in groups, doing things that they usually do in everyday life. One of his popular series was a set of paintings which depict people staring into their cell phones, in a strangely intimate, almost sacred atmosphere.
The events and happenings that he chooses to represent are based on the way that young people live and spend their free time. Punk-rock subculture had great influence over Dan Witz, being a former musician and all. He often represents riots, fights, parties etc.
Explaining a feeling is one of the hardest thins to accomplish, just like painting the human soul is almost impossible, at least when compared to painting physical features, at least according to Dan Witz. Still, what he aims to do is exactly that thing which he describes as hard, he aims to translate the feeling of being in a mosh pit, or being at a huge rave party. The way that these bodies touch each other and get mixed up in the crowd is supposed to depict a form of tension, yet the composition resembles the one found in Renaissance paintings, and in the end everything seems to be one long, delicate moment in slow motion. Thanks to some amazing, magical talent, Witz succeeds in making paintings that capture moments like photographs.
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