Brooklyn, New York based artist Dan Witz, featured here, has been producing activist street art around the world since the seventies. His provocative interventions feature images that trick the eye and often, the majority of people don’t notice them right away. He plans to take his art to London next with his latest project, “Breathing Room”, an ambitious undertaking where he will install his signature-illusionistic paintings in the city’s iconic red phone booths.
“Each phone box will be inhabited by (an illusionistic painting of) a person or persons of diverse backgrounds and faiths–a young Buddhist boy, a hijab-clad young woman, a Hindu yogi, and more—all very still, all in the midst of spiritual practice, and all projecting a quiet sense of inner peace and equanimity. The paintings will be affixed with easily removable clear silicone, causing no damage to the phone box. The piece from the prisoner series I did in Soho survived for at least 2 years,” Witz explains.
Dan Witz, “Wailing Walls”, 2013.
Witz achieved a similar project in 2013 when he collaborated with human rights organization Amnesty International. “Originally- as an extension of my past activism with Amnesty International- the imagery in the phone boxes was 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. All of a sudden the dark and didactic subject matter that characterized my past installations seemed inappropriate. Some breathing room seemed called for.”
“As a street artist working since the 1970s, I’m used to doing things on my own and without any outside interference or responsibility. But this project is too big and complex and I just can’t swing it alone. The installation pieces are larger and the production process is more complicated than anything I’ve ever done before,” he says. Dan Witz has started a Kickstarter to support his “Breathing Room” project, here.