Dan Witz "NY Hardcore" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery, NYCJuxtapoz // Friday, 04 Apr 2014
Tomorrow Jonathan LeVine Gallery will be presenting NY Hardcore, recent works by Brooklyn-based artist Dan Witz in what will be his second solo exhibition at the gallery, accompanied by a printed catalog.
With a career spanning over thirty years, Dan Witz is known for his tromp l’oeil street interventions and extensive studio practice. Applying old master painting techniques in the manner of Bosch or Brueghel to his works on canvas, the artist depicts hyper-realistic figurative imagery in portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. NY Hardcore includes works from Witz’s celebrated mosh pit series. His large-scale paintings portray throngs of punk youth while smaller works highlight cropped studies of single subjects within the crowd. Inspired by his experience in the early 80s, performing in post-punk noise bands during the downtown NY scene, the Mosh Pit series embodies Witz’s desire for comparable intensity and rebelliousness in his painting.
In the artist’s words, “When my brief career as a musician was waning to a close, I knew I’d really miss the intensity, but I discovered in museum wanderings—especially with the epic baroque multi-figure pieces—that painting actually had plenty of potential for the adrenalin and animal frenzy that I craved. The action (within them) can be dizzying, sometimes it even manages to achieve an almost punk-rock pitch of chaos and catharsis.” Regarding mosh pits, “After photographing and being tossed around in mosh pits...when I’d nail someone in full barbaric yawp, it was as satisfying as performing.”
Dan Witz "NY Hardcore"
Jonathan LeVine Gallery, NYC
April 4th - May 3rd, 2014