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Dan Witz

New Paintings

Online Solo Exhibition
April 24 - May 24, 2024

Jersey City, New Jersey, April 24, 2024Jonathan LeVine Projects proudly presents an online exhibition titled, New Paintings by Dan Witz, showcasing a collection of recent paintings from the artist’s mosh pit series. 

Witz’s fascination with capturing the mosh pit imagery began in his early twenties as his career in the punk rock scene was coming to a close. With a return to painting full time, yet craving the physical intensity he experienced when performing, he began to explore that energy through his art. Over the course of many museum visits, he realized – especially in the mannerist or baroque multi-figure pieces – that painting actually had plenty of potential for the intensity and adrenalin he missed. 

He describes the action he observed, especially in the large-scale work, as “…dizzying: sometimes it even manages to sustain a satisfying apocalyptic catharsis” and cites his favorite paintings as the “massive history compositions where everyone is on the verge of really cutting loose: the bow is drawn to its quivering maximum, the (compositional) wrecking ball is teetering at its high point about to plunge the whole show back into smoke and mirrors, and crouching terror”. 

Immersing himself in the midst of mosh pits, Witz is able to capture these moments of frenzy, first with a photograph, then later with paint in his studio. Over time, he became familiar with the patterns in the music; developing a sense for when the moment was about to reach its peak. Dan shares his experience, saying, “It got to the point where I could sense the moment coming when things would totally go berserk. I had the camera on a pole so while insinuating myself into the action, I’d hit the timer, count down with the music and lift the camera over the crowd hoping the shutter would click at the optimum moment. It was mostly luck but when I’d nail one it was as satisfying as performing”. 

While this selection focuses predominantly on his mosh pit work, including two aluminum cut-outs, there is also a striking piece from his portraiture series; reminding viewers of his ability to create movement and depth, regardless of the subject. New Paintings by Dan Witz will run April 24, 2024, through May 24, 2024, at www.jonathanlevineprojects.com (online only)

Dan Witz was born in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Rhode Island School of Design from 1975-77 and came to New York in 1978 to attend Cooper Union, receiving a BFA in 1980. In 1982, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to publish his first book, “The Birds of Manhattan”, Skinny Books, 1982. In 1992 and 2000, he received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in 1998 he received a fellowship from the Public Art Fund. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. He’s had solo shows in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin. Witz has been featured in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Vice, and the cover of Juxtapoz Magazine. In 2010, Gingko Press released In Plain View, 30 Years of Artworks, Illegal and Otherwise, a monograph documenting Witz’s career and works created in the studio and on the street. Dan’s work as an activist has included projects with Amnesty International, PETA UK  and with PETA USA.