Dan Witz has been actively working on the streets since the late 1970s. He cleverly combines digital reproduction with illusionism, bringing lifelike figures appearing 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.
This week New York based artist Dan Witz has been busy in London with his ‘Breathing Room’ project that saw him take-over the city’s red telephone boxes with an illusionistic painting of a person, of all cultural backgrounds and faiths, all in the midst of spiritual practice, and all projecting a quiet sense of inner peace, such as a young Buddhist boy, a hijab-clad young woman and a Hindu yogi.
This latest project was meant to be an extension of his past activism with Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organisation, which saw him on the British streets in 2012 installing his prisoner images onto London phone boxes, and grates 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.
Now back in 2016 the imagery in the phone boxes were planned to further broadcast the plight of tortured and wrongly detained political prisoners across the world. However, the recent terror attacks in Europe have had a profound effect on Dan Witz.
“All of a sudden the dark and didactic subject matter that characterized my past installations seemed inappropriate. Some breathing room seemed called for”. Dan Witz
Now the phone booths offer a place to ‘Breath’, a place to reflect…
Photo credit Dan Witz