Rivington Design House is pleased to present DRAGWAY, a collection of new work by brothers Matt and Thomas Witte. Dragway explores American drag racing of the 60’s and 70’s through a character study of its most eccentric sub-culture. Known as “back-up girls,” the women of Dragway commanded the world of drag racing as free spirits, oozing with exaggerated sex appeal. Notoriously clad in go-go boots, hot pants, and cut-offs, the irresistible antics of back-up girls such as Jungle Pam and Shirley “Cha-Cha” Muldowney fill the hearts of drag racing enthusiasts to this day.
Brothers Thomas and Matt Witte combine their unique creative styles in tribute to a sect of Vintage Americana that is both dark and comedic, nostalgic and surreal.
Matt Witte’s gallery debut showcases his ability to develop complex visual narratives out of basic fan snapshots, newspapers, and magazine promo photos. Matt, an experienced songwriter and musician, uses a variety of media to explore the hard and often exploitive life of a “drag girl”. Through the distortion of old photographs, the girls pass between images of good and evil in the imaginary world of the obsessed fan.
Thomas Witte works with cut paper to accentuate a photographic image’s purest form. This exhibition is bookended by shows of Thomas’ work at the Brooklyn Public library, PULSE New York, and an exhibit in Grand Central Station. In Dragway, Thomas depicts hardened, and often scantily clad drag women using simple, delicate lines with only a single sheet of paper. The result is an image that immortalizes the drag girl apart from the world of smoke, fire and pandemonium. His work burns an image into your memory of the drag girl as strong, rebellious and uninhibited.