Over the weekend at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea, New York, the Brooklyn-based artist Dan Witz opened his solo exhibition ”NY Hardcore,” a mosh pit series intricately depicted in a hyper-realistic, trompe l’oeil technique with oil and digital media. The displayed works are all so purposely consistent — not just in medium, but through the unbound emotions splattered across Witz’s many colliding punk youths. One piece bleeds into another, allowing the viewer to escape into New York City’s adrenaline-spiked past.

Unlike typical depictions of the moments of yesteryear, Witz detracts any type of glamorization, and strips the revisit bare, leaving only the dizzying movements of entropy, the addictive intensity that once vibrated off of complete strangers’ hair and sweat. The artist carves each character uniquely within the masses, and as realistic as physical imperfection goes: the dancing figures grimace mid-scream, exposing tooth decay and cavities. Furrowed cheeks slug damp shoulders while arms grab onto whatever their hands can reach. Fat dawdles to one side of inked bones as full bodies bend, caught in that graceless lull before propelling through space.

Within the larger series, Witz’s Byronesque studies pair the souls of the hardcore scene and the Romantic poet together, revealing the painted characters as all byronic heroes — arrogant, passionate, self-destructive, but most of all, die-hard fans of action.



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