Dan Witz is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based street artist and painter who has been doing street art in New York City since 1978. His first project, “The Birds of Manhattan,” a series of hyper-realistic hummingbirds painted on walls and doors throughout lower Manhattan, appeared in 1979. Whether decorating doorways with hummingbirds, wheatpasting dark, hooded figures around gentrified blocks or collaborating with PETA in a campaign drawing attention to animal experimentation, Witz’s work provokes and challenges the viewer by disrupting the viewpoint, battling against constraint while advocating for the disenfranchised. His “Prisoners” series of hands extending through vents and grates in a Kilroy-inspired manner began with an Amnesty International collaboration addressing habeas corpus rights abuse, with the installations spread through the streets of London, Frankfurt, Vienna and Los Angeles. Whether acting alone and covertly or in concert, Witz uses his gifts to shine a light in dark places.
BEYOND THE STREETS Los Angeles, 2018. Photo by Brent Broza.