New York-based artist Dan Witz makes his solo debut with Lazarides at our Rathbone Place gallery with Prisoners 2012-2013, displaying paintings from both his Prisoner and Mosh Pit series.
Dan Witz has been at the forefront of artists working on the street since the late 1970s. Combining digital reproduction with the old master's technique of illusionism, the artist's lifelike figures appear as if from nowhere on signposts, walls, windows and manhole covers across the world. Painted and layered over digital photographs, each image is designed to surprise the viewer, taking them aback and from the expected into an alarming state of disbelief.
In those works from his Mosh Pit series, figures intertwine and climb over one another with the pressure, pain and joy expressed at different stages of the mosh. For the adjacent Prisoners, Witz partnered with Amnesty International – the world's largest human rights organization – to gain access to individuals who are subjects of their campaign for rights awareness. As a symbolic reference to their real-life struggles, each of these imprisoned individuals is portrayed with few clothes, masked or with their hands tied.
To coincide with the exhibition, the artist will be dispersing his unique stamp on the streets of London by painting one of his prisoners' image onto phone boxes.