Editor's Pick, Interview, Style

Interview: Dior Homme F/W 2017 X Realist Painter Dan Witz

Interview: Dior Homme F/W 2017 X Realist Painter Dan Witz

Monsieur Mosh Pit: that’s who Dior Homme tapped for its Fall/Winter 2017 collection, by enlisting American street artist Dan Witz. In 20 minutes, the realist painter tells Men’s Folio all about the collaboration.

WINTER 17 Backstage Morgan ODonovan

WINTER 17 Backstage Morgan ODonovan

How did this collaboration come about?
Kris Van Assche collects my work and was interested in acquiring a mosh pit painting. When I sent images of available pieces, he reached out to me about a collaboration. Like many artists who come from a street art background, I am wary of brand associations. But my wife asked around, and everyone had very positive things to say about Dior. Eventually, I visited them in Paris, we all got along and I became open to the idea.


What is it about mosh pits that captivates you?
After I got out of art school, I played in post punk-type bands for most of my twenties. At 28, I “retired” from music and went back to making art full time. I was worried that staying home and painting would lack the same excitement as performing, and that my life and work would become boring and safe, or that I would lose my edge. And as an art student, I’d admired baroque art – all that chaos and energy felt very familiar, not just from my days playing in bands but from coming of age in the early ’80s in New York City. Painting mosh pits seemed like an apt way to explore this. From start to finish, the whole process of producing these paintings turned out to be ridiculously challenging, which I suppose satisfied my need to be living close to the edge.

DIOR HOmme Pt2-2128

How different was the work process for the Dior Homme project?
The Dior Homme collaboration actually folded nicely with my normal activities. A lot of my time is spent travelling and doing street art. Last summer, I was in Paris and was able to visit the Dior studio. It’s an amazing place and they were very hospitable. As for my actual process, besides working from photographs (I use photoshop to organise my compositions), I’m a fairly traditional realist painter.

28_WINTER-17_Backstage_Morgan-ODonovan_PRESSE (1)

Were there any learning points?
That I should listen to my wife more. If it had been up to me, I probably wouldn’t have done this. And I would have missed out on a great experience.


How does it feel to have your work celebrated by Dior Homme fans now?
The whole fashion show in Paris was ridiculously surreal – even for my life. This was the same weekend that Trump was inaugurated, and the resistance hardcore vibe seemed to make sense in that foreboding atmosphere. When all was said and done, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how cool the clothes were. All Dior Homme’s choices – the draping, the muted colour palette, the scale – I totally approve of. Even the sequinned suit worked so well. But yes, this rates as one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had.


Would you wear anything from the collection?
That sequinned suit! But in my personal life, I’m pretty much the opposite of flamboyant, so only at an art opening for my work. Or, maybe, at my 60th birthday party, which is coming soon – Hi Kris!

Refresh Your Wardrobe with 15 New Fall/Winter'18 Drops

THIS👏🏽IS👏🏽IT👏🏽 We're laying down our top favourite 15 items from Fall/Winter'18 ..

News -
Kim Jones’ Dual Dior Tribute

A dialogue between Christian Dior’s private life and his creative output.

News -
Summer Essence: Beach Vacations

Staying cool and dressing right have never been more important than in summer, so sport the right essentials at your next beach va ..

Shopping -
Get your Game on with Dior Homme Pre-Fall'18 Accessories

In creative partnership with Dior Homme, our latest film campaign showcases the Maison's Pre-Fall’18 accessories that throwback ..

Style -
Steal the Look: Old Hollywood

The mutual attraction between fashion and cinema has been integral to narrative building; designers look to old cinema for inspira ..

Shopping -
Crafting A Better Brew

Interview with Samuel Lau, business development manager at Asahi Europe Ltd.

Interview -
Cop That Look: 10 Most Hyped Items for the Streetwear-Obsessed

In our humble little island, we may not have fashion's patron saint of street style photography, Bill Cunningham to put Singapore ..

Style -
Weather the Storm

Menswear’s very best Spring/Summer’18 runway looks are anything but boring — modernised with a clash of eclectic prints agai ..

Spreads -