Dan Witz - Mosh Pit

Dan Witz

United States 1957

Street Art, Realism


Dan Witz
Dan Witz
United States
October 25, 2015
Aya received her MA in English Language and Literature in 2012. She likes dancing, traveling, cycling and spending time with her pets.

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.

ABC No Rio

Dan Witz - ABC No Rio, 2011
Dan Witz – ABC No Rio, 2011


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.

Vision of Disorder

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Dan Witz – Vision of Disorder, 2013


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.

Publications and Books

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.


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Dan Witz – Byronesque, 2013


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.

Awards and Fellowships

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.

Agnostic Front Circle Pit

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Dan Witz – Agnostic Front Circle Pit, 2014

The artist is represented by Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York.

Dan Witz currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

All images courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery

2014NY HardcoreJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2014Project MUrban Nation, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2014The Bushwick Collective Art ShowBrooklyn, NYGroup
2013Public and ConfidentialWunderkammern Gallery, Rome, ItalySolo
2013Bar Shrines, Lamps and Other Paintings of LightGestalten Space, Berlin, GermanySolo
2013Prisoners 2012-2013Lazarides Gallery (Rathbone), London, UKSolo
2013Cash, Cans & CandyGalerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2012BedlamLazarides, London, UKGroup
2012Escape the Golden CageUrban Art Exhibition. Vienna, AustriaGroup
2011Mosh Pits, Human and OtherwiseJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2011WHAT THE %$#@? (WTF)White Walls, San Francisco, CASolo
2011Tou SceneNuart, NorwayGroup
2011Re-defineThe Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, TXGroup
2011Hey Modern Art & Pop Culture, Curated by Hey! MagazineHalle Saint Pierre, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Ha Ha RoadQUAD Gallery, in collaboration with Mostyn Gallery; Derby, UKGroup
2011The emergence of the Pop Imagist, Curated by Jonathan LeVine and Giovanni BonelliVenice Bienalle, Venice, ItalyGroup
2011Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York StoriesC.A.V.E. Gallery, Venice (LA), CaliforniaGroup
2011Welling Court Mural ProjectAd Hoc Art, Queens, NYGroup
2010New Night PaintingsDFN Gallery, NYCSolo
2010Urban AlchemistJonathan LeVine Gallery at Art Basel, Miami, FL Group
2010From the Street to the CubeWhite Walls, San Francisco, CAGroup
2010BookedCarmichael Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
20105th Anniversary ShowJonathan LeVine Gallery NY, NYGroup
2010Looks Good on PaperDFN Gallery NY, NYGroup
2009Dark DoingsCarmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2009New Street WorksSid Lee Collective, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsSolo
2009Beach Blanket BingoJonathan LeVine Gallery NY, NYGroup
2009Graffiti Group ShowAddict Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2009From The Streets of BrooklynThink Space Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Night PaintingsStolen Space, London, EnglandSolo
2008In Plain ViewDfn Gallery New York, NYSolo
2008Explisit Fantastic”Keep 6 Contemporary, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2008Dangerous WomenDFN Gallery New York, NYGroup
2007Dan WitzStolenSpace London, EnglandSolo
2007Night PaintingsDFN Gallery New York, NYSolo
2007Mosh PitAddict Gallerie Paris, FranceSolo
2007Wooster on SpringNew York, NYGroup
2007WetDFN Gallery New York, NYGroup
2006Up LateDFN Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2006Open AirStayGold Gallery Brooklyn, NYGroup
2006Smart AssSouthern Exposure, San Francisco CAGroup
2005Night PaintingsDFN Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2005SubmissionFuse Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005Animal TalesDFN Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004SpeciesLinda Warren Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
20044 Artists | 4 Walls: Interior PaintingsDFN Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Innocence FoundDFN Gallery, New York, NY Gigantic Art SpaceGroup
2003The BurbsDFN Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2001Buying Time: Nourishing ExcellenceSotheby's, New York, NYGroup
1999FifteenNYFA Fellows at Deutsche Bank, New York, NYGroup
1998Dan WitzClementine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1996Do you see what I see?Thread Waxing Space, New York, NYGroup
1995Dan WitzSaint Peter1s Church, New York, NYSolo
1995Street ArtPS 122 Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1994Sleeping and WakingWellesley-Ross Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1992Sunday by the Bay, Benefit auction for AIDS researchBellport Village, NYGroup
1991Lyric: uses of beauty at the end of the centuryWhite Columns Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1990Miami Art Fair: in conjunction with Leila Taghinia Milani GalleryMiami, CASolo
1988100 Years: Social and Political Art on the Lower East SidePPOW Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1987Contemporary Arts CouncilMuseum of Modern Art, Saatchi Corp., New York, NYGroup
1986Dan WitzSemaphore Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1986Painting and Sculpture Today: 1986Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, INGroup