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Friday, September 28, 2012


Dan Witz is a true pioneer of the street art movement. What makes Dan so special is his true passion and love for street art. As many artists on the streets have come and gone over the years, Dan has remained true to the craft and has kept his work alive on the streets since he began over 3 decades ago. I don't know any other street artists that have been at it that long" "It was Dan Witz who first showed us how powerful street art could be...For us, Dan Witz is the consummate street artist. He's provocative, he's dedicated. And most of all, he has absolutely wicked skills" --Marc and Sara Schiler of the Wooster Collective

As a legendary street artist, Dan Witz lends wit, color, and grace to New York City. As a painter, he seduces outsiders into his oil painted worlds. His early influences were a mixture of punk rebellion, culture jamming and the scary urban blight of New York in the early eighties. As a painter, technically he has always been fascinated by old master techniques of simulating reality. In the 1980s, Witz was also a musician involved in the downtown art-punk scene. He currently lives in Brooklyn and splits his time between making gallery paintings and street art. Witz started doing street art when he moved to New York City in the late 1970's. "I've put up some kind of anonymous un-permitted outdoor work every summer since. The intention behind my projects has been varied - aesthetic, socio political, and personal - but the motivation has always been to get out of the studio and have fun while making work that's direct and uncompromised"

What is most captivating about the work of Witz, is the subject of 'light'. Using a hybrid of old master techniques and the latest digital technology, these evocative nocturnal paintings take an almost invisible banality of our everyday lives and invest it with new mystery and significance. Influenced by Ed Ruscha's 26 gasoline stations and Joseph Wright of Derby, in these pieces Witz also references older western religious painting, where physical light was a metaphor for spiritual revelation and enlightenment.

"I look at the world and I see a million things I want to paint every day but I keep coming back to light as a subject. I don't know exactly why. It would probably be pretentious if I tried to describe it. I do know that paintings can do certain things that nothing else can. One thing oil paint on canvas can do can do is make light seem real. Things glow. They're warm and they're welcoming, I think there's a primal attraction to that. The Old Master technique is all about producing light and evoking whatever phenomenon of light they want."

Since the early Renaissance painters in oil have known that light entering a painting, traveling through a lens of transparent color glazes, gathers strength then bounces off the bright white ground making their canvasses seem to glow with its own reflected light. Witz combines this centuries old, and largely forgotten technique, with the latest state of the art digital technology and has truly mastered the ability to transcend time and place and made it his own.