Radio Juxtapoz ep 051: Dan Witz On How the Whole World Became One Big Mosh Pit
Dan Witz is a pioneer man in so many ways, and has lived so many different lives that speaking with him in any setting that isn't a 6 hour session would prove to be difficult. He was painting Baroque style realism at Cooper Union in the late 1970s when Neo-Expressionism was becoming the craze, painting hummingbirds and doing street art in lower Manhattan when graffiti entered the art mainstream consciousness, was a Punk when Hip Hop was taking over NYC and began painting his iconic "mosh pits" when no one dared to touch realism again. Now in 2020, he is back with political street art, in the belly of the beast in the battleground states with powerful messages about the Trump administration’s diabolical policies on immigrant families at the border between Mexico and the USA. At every step of the way, the Brooklyn-based Witz is ahead of the curve.
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His most pit and rave paintings are seminal, equally so, the hummingbirds and small scale street art works, but what makes Witz such a fascinating interview is not only how long he’s been at it, but the multiple genres and mediums he has worked in. From music and photography, street art activism to fine art painting, Witz dives headfirst into all the avenues of creativity, and discovering an underbelly of Americana in the process.
In the 51st episode of the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, we find Witz at home after trips to the midwest, fresh off his #isitsafe street project, with stories to tell. From his research at a Trump rally, to documenting mosh pits, camera in hand and transforming them into beautiful energy on canvas, to seeing the chaotic uncertainty of America this summer to surviving Punk style in Manhattan in the 1980s and 90s, this is one of our most action-packed podcasts ever.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 051 was recorded via Skype from San Francisco/London/Brooklyn, July 30, 2020. Follow Dan Witz at @danwitzstreetart