In fall of 2008, Andrew Michael Ford curated Dark Pop, a show at Last Rites Gallery which challenged artists to create a piece of “dark” art. It was a big hit. Since then, Andrew has begun working at Last Rites, and now Dark Pop 2.0 is almost here. Looks like a very interesting show.
Last Rites Gallery has again decided to find out what several of today’s brightest art stars are capable of when asked to create ONE piece of what could be considered truly ‘dark art’. Many artists find themselves in a nice groove of creating a certain mood or emotion through their work and have, understandably, become quite comfortable following this path in their art-making. We were curious, however, what would happen if things were to get a little uncomfortable, as the artist challenged themselves to search through new or buried feelings and emotions, the kind which might find their place on the ‘darker’ side of the artistic spectrum. With that in mind, Last Rites Gallery proudly presents “Dark Pop 2.0”: A collection of truly ‘dark art’ from an incredibly talented and diverse group of artists who would normally never get anywhere near this stuff! If the first Dark Pop was any indication, Dark Pop 2.0 is guaranteed to astound.
Participating Artists Include: AIKO (Aiko Nakagawa), Lisa Alisa, Esao Andrews, John Cebollero, Benjamin Clarke, Joshua Clay, Molly Crabapple, Amy Crehore, Yoko d’Holbachie, Leslie Ditto, Mickey Edtinger, Mark Elliott, Eric Fortune, GAIA, Stella Im Hultberg, Sarah Joncas, Aya Kakeda, Ben Kehoe, Dan-ah Kim, Daniel Hyun Lim (Fawn Fruits), Danni Shinya Luo, David MacDowell, Mike Maxwell, Simone Maynard, Dennis McNett, Tara McPherson, Michael Page, Nathan Lee Pickett, Leslie Reppeteaux, Mijn Schatje, Tin, Dan Witz, Jaeran Won and more.
Thursday night was the opening of Dan Witz’s Dark Doings show at the Carmichael Gallery in LA. At first I wasn’t sure how Dan’s street work (especially from this particular series) would work indoors, but then I realized, the one piece of art in my house that my mom bought is an old Moroccan door and it’s great. So why should Dan’s door-sized work be any different? Maybe you don’t get the same element of surprise that spotting one of his pieces in the wild would have, but they still look damn cool and the man can paint. Can anybody who has seen this show in person shed some light on what it’s like to see these pieces in a gallery?
I would absolutely love to see something by Dan Witz in person one day. If you’re in New York, that’s been possible since the 1970’s, but now Dan Witz has a solo show coming up at the Carmichael Gallery in LA.
The press release:
Carmichael Gallery is proud to present Dark Doings, a solo exhibition of new works by Dan Witz. This is the Brooklyn based artist’s first US west coast solo exhibition.
In Dark Doings, Witz will showcase a selection of pieces from his expansive summer street project of the same name. Created both for the street and gallery, the subtle, haunting images of human and animal faces trapped behind dirty glass windows are inspired by a recent visit earlier in the year to the red light district of Amsterdam.
In speaking about the philosophy behind this body of work, Dan explains, “I’m trying to exploit our collective tendency towards sleepwalking by inserting outrageous things right out there in plain view that are also practically invisible. My goal is to make obvious in your face art that ninety-nine percent of the people who walk by won’t notice. Eventually when they stumble upon one or find out about it I’m hoping they’ll start wondering what else they’ve been missing.”
Artwork at the show will comprise of mixed media on digital prints on plastic, presented either framed or mounted to wood doors, the latter serving as both canvas and contextual framework through which the work can be viewed. A selection of photographs depicting the Dark Doings series in situ will also be exhibited at the show. They will be displayed alongside the piece with which they correspond.
About Dan Witz:
Dan Witz is one of the most prolific artists working on the streets of New York City today. With a career that dates back to the 1970s, he continues through each project to refine his technique and style, yet never loses sight of his original aesthetic and ideological goals. Acknowledged as one of the most important voices in the history of the movement by critics and peers alike, he both defines and challenges what it means to be a street artist.
Dan Witz, who needs to become much better known in the UK by the way, has started on a new project and it is as great as ever. Here are a few images from “Dark Doings“:
Without a doubt, these street pieces are impressive, but what about Witz’ work in the gallery. Here is a piece from the current group show at StolenSpace Gallery:
For me, it doesn’t quite work. I’ve seen pieces by Witz that work very well in the gallery, and he is an amazing painting on the street or indoors, but for the most part, I think his paintings are much more powerful when outdoors and unexpected rather than in galleries or homes.
As the best street artists, and estate agents, will tell you, location is everything. These pieces that have popped up recently in New York City are just amazing examples of this.
First up, Judith Supine. Now, part of the reason this looks so good is probably due to Becki’s photography, but Supine definitely knows how to pick interest places for his work.
And of course, this piece by Dan Witz deserves a mention. It looks like a real person, or at least a sculpture like Mark Jenkins might do, but apparently it is just a 2d painting, like the rest of Witz’ work. Amazing. It’s definitely also seeing larger.
Thanks to Very Nearly Almost for linking up this video because otherwise I might never have seen it, and it’s made my dad. Open Air is a really great short film on street art featuring some of New York’s most classic street artists including Skewville, Dan Witz, and Faile.