Paintings of Mosh Pits by Dan Witz

A painting by Dan Witz of a packed mosh pitBrite Nite 1, oil on canvas

Dan Witz is a New York-based painter and street artist whose work often takes the form of shadowy, or high-contrast paintings that emulate interior nighttime lighting. Witz is well-known for his series of paintings of mosh pits, where crowds of detailed figures collide across the canvas.


A painting by Dan Witz of a lamp against a dark red curtainEcono Lodge, oil and mixed media on canvas

I find Witz’s mosh pit paintings really interesting, both in the choice of subject matter and the execution. The lighting that the artist uses for these is similar to the flash on a pocket digital camera, creating a series of brightly highlighted figures on a dark, uncertain background. The interactions of the figures in these paintings are skillfully rendered, with wrinkles in clothing, facial expressions and flailing locks of hair indicating impacts and movement.


Some of the artist’s other painting series’ focus more intently on lighting and space. Witz’s Nightscapes depict particular buildings or street corners, illuminated by street lamps or awnings while floating in a warm blackness. These remind me a great deal of Trevor Young’s paintings of isolated structures at night. 


A painting by Dan Witz of a deli and grocery at nightHermano & Deli, oil and mixed media on canvas

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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