Brite 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.
Econo 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.
Hermano & Deli, oil and mixed media on canvas