It is probably an understatement to say that Dan Witz has one of the longest running and well regarded careers in street art…beginning decades before street art could even possibly be considered a career for most artists. For the last 30 years, Witz has been adorning the streets of New York with his hummingbirds, hoodies, shrines, skateboarders, Do Not Enter signs with a twist, and trompe l’oeil-style painted photo appliques that mimic the grates on buildings. The genius of his work is how he can make something so brilliant and intricate appear so simple, accessible, and unpretentious. Well, accessible, that is, if you can even see what he has left right in front of you in the first place! Appropriately enough, the name of his first (can you even believe that?!) book, released today by Gingko Press, is Dan Witz: In Plain View – 30 Years of Artworks Illegal and Otherwise. I was fortunate to be able to view a copy last week during a visit to Dan’s studio, and I was impressed by this monograph in every sense possible. With a librarian for a mother and a New York sized apartment, I am not big on buying books, but this will definitely be a very worthwhile second such purchase for me this week.
And while looking on Amazon I was excited to see that he also has a calendar of his hummingbird images in pre-order for 2011. Now everyone can afford to have a Dan Witz piece on their wall!
So, moving on from my corny sense of humor and on to something that is actually good: images from Dan Witz’s studio:
A shot of the studio
Suicide Stockings – Elisa Carmichael gets hung up
Jonathan Levine grate (the top one, not the bottom
70 commercial street. 2010 middle size. 40×54
mosh pit painting
Bodega, LA, 2010, oil and mixed media on canvas, 50 x 72 in.
Econo Lodge Lamp III, 2007, oil and mixed media on canvas, 34 x 38 in.
Me having my entire year made by getting to pose for a grate (photo by Ludo)
The first draft of the “Becki Fuller” grate