New York, N.Y. – If the role of the artist is to interpret the world and respond to it, then artists Brett Amory and Dan Witz are luminaries who highlight perspectives most people in their day-to-day lives choose to overlook or simply never encounter. Whether it’s a scene at a mosh pit at a metal concert or the viewer-as-voyeur watching a subject visiting an adult bookstore, both series draw attention and cause reflection.
Armory and Witz don’t seek the polished, the branded, or the refined “idyllic” landscapes usually found in classic and contemporary art. Instead, they are looking for the details that are often deemed unattractive or unsightly, and reinterpret each to challenge viewers.
Audiences looking to be wowed will not want miss the artists’ upcoming solo shows at Jonathan Levine Gallery.
Dan Witz’s most recent works offered audiences images of imprisoned figures snaking along interstate routes awaiting traffic-struck viewers. The paintings provided a sinister trompe l’oeil, a wink to the passerby who may or may not have caught sight of the naked figure behind bars.
In his upcoming solo show titled Mosh Pits, Human and Otherwise, Witz returns to an old subject matter. He has once again found a way to capture the hyper-activity exclusive to mosh pits and dog fights. The paintings have raw energy, effuse hostility, and make it possible to believe they actually emit energy and sound.
It’s as if Witz is barely able to confine the subjects within the canvas. The longtime street artist is constantly reinventing himself, and in this series, he finds a perfect balance between the energy and the subjects.
In contrast, Brett Amory highlights a shadowy world of lone figures and fractured light. His paintings depict a rare glimpse into urban decay and a mundane humanness that take on emotional roles like loneliness and isolation, making the works both attractive and unforgiving.
Amory paints pure beauty in the adult bookstore, gas station, or corner store, all seen late at night. The subjects, always waiting, create tension within the works. It’s as if they are paused in unexpected or unfamiliar moments. And each is highlighted with a trademark: light.
Light emerges as a new character that is central to these pieces. It transforms viewers into voyeurs. It’s as if you are alone, standing outside looking in late at night, hoping to catch a glimpse of the subject mid-act.
The pairing of Dan Witz and Brett Amory is an equal match. Each work complements the other, and allows viewers the opportunity to pause for reflection.
– Adam Reed Rozan, Warholian Correspondent— Museum, Culture, Street Art
Dan Witz, Mosh Pits, Human and Otherwise, and Brett Amory, Dark Light, open June 30 at Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City, and runs through July 30.
For more information, please visit www.jonathanlevinegallery.com.