Dan Witz is an American street artist and painter, born in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. The artist has been active on the street art scene since the late 1970s, which makes him one of the pioneers of the street art movement. He is best known for his series named Holes, that suggest holes in the walls of Brooklyn.
Witz grew up in Chicago and went to Rhode Island School of Design from 1975 to 1977. He moved to New York in 1978 and attended Cooper Union in New York, where he obtained his degree in 1981.
Witz started creating hummingbirds on the walls of downtown Manhattan, New York, illegally, with acrylic paint and brushes. It was in the late 1970s, long before Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey and Banksy became famous around the globe. Witz’s work is not only limited to street art. He is also interested in group figure paintings and what he calls, academic realist painting. His works depict mosh pits at punk shows, inspired by his experiences as a musician, and deal with the identity of human beings in modern societies. The painting process starts with digital photos, which are later edited in Photoshop and printed onto canvas as underpaintings. Then, Dan starts applying color with traditional glazing techniques.
The artist has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally, in galleries and museums such as Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Carmichael Gallery in Los Angeles, the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indianapolis, White Walls in San Francisco, Stolen Space Gallery in London, United Kingdom; Addict Galerie in Paris, France; and DFN Gallery in New York.
Witz’s first book The Birds of Manhattan was released in 1983. The publisher was Skinny Books. In 2010, Ginko Press published Dan’s monograph, which documents 30 years of his career, Dan Witz. In Plain View. 30 Years of Artworks Illegal and Otherwise, as well as Hummingbirds, 2011. The artist also contributed to the renowned street art website and blog the Wooster Collective.
Dan Witz’s work was featured in numerous popular publications, such as Art Magazine, Juxtapoz, Time, Sites, Artinfo, New York Magazine, Public Art Review, The Huffington Post, The Daily News, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Newsday, Adbusters, and Harpers.
In 2010, Witz’s work was featured Exit Through the Gift Shop, the famous film by street artist Banksy. In 2006, Lou Auguste’s documentary Open Air showed the studio and methods of Dan Witz and Faile, Skewville, Espo, Tiki Jay, and Mike De Foe. In 2005, his work could be seen in Alice Arnold’s film To Be Seen.
The artist received his first fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982. Ten years later, he was the recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. In 1998, Witz received the Public Art Fund fellowship, and in 2000, New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship again.
The artist is represented by Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York.
All images courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery
|2014||NY Hardcore||Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2014||Project M||Urban Nation, Berlin, Germany||Group|
|2014||The Bushwick Collective Art Show||Brooklyn, NY||Group|
|2013||Public and Confidential||Wunderkammern Gallery, Rome, Italy||Solo|
|2013||Bar Shrines, Lamps and Other Paintings of Light||Gestalten Space, Berlin, Germany||Solo|
|2013||Prisoners 2012-2013||Lazarides Gallery (Rathbone), London, UK||Solo|
|2013||Cash, Cans & Candy||Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna, Austria||Group|
|2012||Bedlam||Lazarides, London, UK||Group|
|2012||Escape the Golden Cage||Urban Art Exhibition. Vienna, Austria||Group|
|2011||Mosh Pits, Human and Otherwise||Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2011||WHAT THE %$#@? (WTF)||White Walls, San Francisco, CA||Solo|
|2011||Tou Scene||Nuart, Norway||Group|
|2011||Re-define||The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, TX||Group|
|2011||Hey Modern Art & Pop Culture, Curated by Hey! Magazine||Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, France||Group|
|2011||Ha Ha Road||QUAD Gallery, in collaboration with Mostyn Gallery; Derby, UK||Group|
|2011||The emergence of the Pop Imagist, Curated by Jonathan LeVine and Giovanni Bonelli||Venice Bienalle, Venice, Italy||Group|
|2011||Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories||C.A.V.E. Gallery, Venice (LA), California||Group|
|2011||Welling Court Mural Project||Ad Hoc Art, Queens, NY||Group|
|2010||New Night Paintings||DFN Gallery, NYC||Solo|
|2010||Urban Alchemist||Jonathan LeVine Gallery at Art Basel, Miami, FL||Group|
|2010||From the Street to the Cube||White Walls, San Francisco, CA||Group|
|2010||Booked||Carmichael Gallery, Culver City, CA||Group|
|2010||5th Anniversary Show||Jonathan LeVine Gallery NY, NY||Group|
|2010||Looks Good on Paper||DFN Gallery NY, NY||Group|
|2009||Dark Doings||Carmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, CA||Solo|
|2009||New Street Works||Sid Lee Collective, Amsterdam, The Netherlands||Solo|
|2009||Beach Blanket Bingo||Jonathan LeVine Gallery NY, NY||Group|
|2009||Graffiti Group Show||Addict Gallery, Paris, France||Group|
|2009||From The Streets of Brooklyn||Think Space Gallery, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2008||Night Paintings||Stolen Space, London, England||Solo|
|2008||In Plain View||Dfn Gallery New York, NY||Solo|
|2008||Explisit Fantastic”||Keep 6 Contemporary, Toronto, Canada||Group|
|2008||Dangerous Women||DFN Gallery New York, NY||Group|
|2007||Dan Witz||StolenSpace London, England||Solo|
|2007||Night Paintings||DFN Gallery New York, NY||Solo|
|2007||Mosh Pit||Addict Gallerie Paris, France||Solo|
|2007||Wooster on Spring||New York, NY||Group|
|2007||Wet||DFN Gallery New York, NY||Group|
|2006||Up Late||DFN Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2006||Open Air||StayGold Gallery Brooklyn, NY||Group|
|2006||Smart Ass||Southern Exposure, San Francisco CA||Group|
|2005||Night Paintings||DFN Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2005||Submission||Fuse Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2005||Animal Tales||DFN Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2004||Species||Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL||Group|
|2004||4 Artists | 4 Walls: Interior Paintings||DFN Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2004||Innocence Found||DFN Gallery, New York, NY Gigantic Art Space||Group|
|2003||The Burbs||DFN Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|2001||Buying Time: Nourishing Excellence||Sotheby's, New York, NY||Group|
|1999||Fifteen||NYFA Fellows at Deutsche Bank, New York, NY||Group|
|1998||Dan Witz||Clementine Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|1996||Do you see what I see?||Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY||Group|
|1995||Dan Witz||Saint Peter1s Church, New York, NY||Solo|
|1995||Street Art||PS 122 Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|1994||Sleeping and Waking||Wellesley-Ross Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|1992||Sunday by the Bay, Benefit auction for AIDS research||Bellport Village, NY||Group|
|1991||Lyric: uses of beauty at the end of the century||White Columns Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|1990||Miami Art Fair: in conjunction with Leila Taghinia Milani Gallery||Miami, CA||Solo|
|1988||100 Years: Social and Political Art on the Lower East Side||PPOW Gallery, New York, NY||Group|
|1987||Contemporary Arts Council||Museum of Modern Art, Saatchi Corp., New York, NY||Group|
|1986||Dan Witz||Semaphore Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|1986||Painting and Sculpture Today: 1986||Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN||Group|