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Dan Witz: American Baroque

“Baroque is the superlative of the bizarre, the excess of the ridiculous.” (Francesco Milizia, Dictionary of Fine Arts and Drawing)

Baroque and street art. Two artistic movements almost impossible to associate. Both belong to two completely different eras, characterized by styles, customs and modes of expression that are distant from each other. It would be unimaginable to think of being able to unify these two artistic expressive motions with the hand of a single artist, but the American street artist Dan Witz has succeeded.

Dan Witz is one of the best-known artists in the urban art scene, for his installations made with a traditional oil colour technique and a hyper-realistic, almost photographic style. Linked to punk culture, he often chooses images in which the figures are behind grates or in a situation of captivity, carrying out a very strong social criticism.

In the case of some of his works, rigorously in oil, his connection with the world of rock punk and concerts emerges even more. In some cases, one could almost associate the movement of the bodies represented by Dan Witz as a very strong reference to the Baroque.

The Wunderkammern gallery celebrated this visual experiment on the occasion of the 2019 American Baroque exhibition in which the artist creates an uninterrupted vortex of bodies, colors and contrasts, in which the figures follow a single leitmotif: the serpentine movement of the bodies, totally irrational and authentic.

The pogo scenes at punk-hardcore concerts and orgies become a unique study of bodies whose faces are captured in the most sudden moments, at the height of their transformation. And here is the return of the typical themes of the Baroque such as ecstasy, eroticism or the triumph of death. All this, however, takes place with an underground style that does not forget the origins and the world from which street art and the art of Dan Witz belongs.

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