I was moshed once. It was a terrible experience. Do people still mosh these days? They must.  I never quite understood the pleasure in being jostled, bumped, knocked and throttled by a surge of sweaty, warm meat sacks. You can tell, I’m not the biggest fan. That said, there is an indefinable beauty in watching a mosh. The sway of bodies moving to and fro in a million different directions and ways. It’s unifying and delirious and as hypnotic as watching the concert itself.

Brooklyn artist Dan Witz has concocted his own series of hyper-realistic oil paintings aptly titled Mosh Pits, Human and Otherwise.  An old-school kind of guy, his work spans three decades and, being a master at capturing light and depth in his undertakings, he has only recently been a digital convert. Witz doesn’t just rely on the concept of a stereotypical festival mosh pit but regards the other kinds of “moshes” in life: yuppies in business suits coalescing around one another towards their busy monotonous days, masses of dogs scrabbling and scratching at one another and rats swarming over one another seeking food, warmth, dirt and the dark undersides of things.

The hyper-realism of his paintings is creating an uncanny valley effect in me: these look almost exactly like photos of such events. Terrifying, but all the same, fearfully cool.


Words: Melissa Kuttan










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