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Dan Witz is a pioneer man in so many ways, and has lived so many different lives that speaking with him in any setting that isn't 6 hours would prove to be difficult. He was painting Baroque style realism at Cooper Union in the late 1970s when Neo-Expressionism was becoming the craze, was painting hummingbirds and doing street art in lower Manhattan when graffiti was becoming part of an art mainstream consciousness, was a Punk when Hip Hop was taking over NYC and was painting his iconic "mosh pits" when no one would dare touch realism again. Now in 2020, he is back with political street art, in the belly of the beast in the battleground states with powerful messages about the Trump administrations diabolical policies toward immigrant families at the border between Mexico and the USA. And every step of the way, the Brooklyn-based Witz is ahead of the curve.
His most pit and rave paintings are iconic, his hummingbirds and small scale street art works the same, but what makes Witz such a fascinating interview is not only how long he has been at it, but the multiple genres and mediums he has worked in. From music and photography, street art activism to fine art painting, Witz hasn't shied away from exploring all the avenues of creativity, and discovered an underbelly of Americana in the process.
In the 51st episode of the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, we find Witz at home after trips to the midwest, fresh off his #isitsafe street project and stories to tell. From his research at a Trump rally, to documenting mosh pits with camera in hand and transforming them into beautiful energy on canvas, to seeing the chaos and uncertainty of America this summer to surviving Punk style in Manhattan in the 1980s and 90s, this is one of our favorite podcasts ever.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 051 was recorded via Skype from San Francisco/London/Brooklyn, July 30, 2020. Follow Dan Witz at @danwitzstreetart