Hookedblog recently got the opportunity to visit Brooklyn based artist Dan Witz studio as he launched his new project on Kickstarter. Witz has visited London on a number of occasions showing work at various gallery exhibitions as well as installing some street works across the city, such as the street project Empty The Cages for PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals). We somehow never crossed paths with him during these London visits so we were delighted to get the chance to final meet him in New York and have a look around his studio.
Witz spoke to us about his recently launched Kickstarter project which will see him revisit London in July. Over the course of a week Witz says he 'will travel to London and install a series of topically provocative paintings on the city’s red telephone boxes. The pieces will be totally integrated into the public commons and the majority of passersby (and authorities) won’t notice them. At first.'
The new project is an extension of his past activism with Amnesty International in which the imagery in the phone boxes were planned to further broadcast the plight of tortured and wrongly detained political prisoners across the world. 'But the recent terror attacks in Europe have had a profound effect on me' says Witz, 'All of a sudden the dark and didactic subject matter that characterized my past installations seemed inappropriate. Some breathing room seemed called for'.
Each of the phone box will be inhabited by (an illusionistic painting of) a person or persons of diverse backgrounds and faiths and will include a young Buddhist boy, a hijab-clad young woman, a Hindu yogi to name a few, all very still, all in the midst of spiritual practice, and all projecting a quiet sense of inner peace and equanimity.
One of the phonebook Kickstarter rewards. Dan holding one of the 20" Phone Booth Paintings giving you an idea of the scale of these rewards.
Breathing Room Kickstarter
As with most Kickstarter projects Dan has some great rewards you can get hold of for backing his project, from signed hand finished limited editions 8 1/2 x 11 phone booth prints, signed copies of his book In Plain View to a full sized (6') Phone Booth painting where you choose any character or for extra Dan will paint you as the character in the phonebook!!
Watch his video below and for more info on the project, to see the full list of rewards and to back this great project head over to the Breathing Room: A Street Art Project by Dan Witz kickstarter page.
Hookedblog would like to thank our E17 friends at WoodStreetWalls who helped to put us in touch with Dan Witz.