Primal Punk Portraits: Dan Witz’s ‘NY Hardcore’ Paintings

Anybody who has spent any amount of time in or around a circle of dancing hardcore kids understands how exhilarating, and often violent, it can be. The way they wave their arms, kick their feet, and do moves like picking up change, floor-punching, and windmills have long made hardcore shows exciting and dangerous, with the chance of a fist or foot hitting anybody within close proximity. They might not look elegant to most, but artist Dan Witz used hardcore pits as inspiration for his latest show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York, NY Hardcore.

Primal and ferocious, the scenes depicted in Witz’s paintings (some of which Flavorwire has featured in the past), taken from shows by bands like Agnostic Front and Vision of Disorder, capture the intensity of a hardcore pit for the inexperienced, and also leave viewers asking themselves what many of us who have been to a few hardcore shows in our lifetime have wondered: Are they doing it to have fun, to intentionally hurt people, or both?

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Image credit: Dan Witz. Courtesy of Jonathan Levine Gallery