Friday, May 30, 2008

Dan Eldon


I have always been drawn to the story of Dan Eldon, and to his photography and journals. **Dan Eldon was born in London in 1970. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Nairobi, Kenya. At an early age, he accompanied his mother, a journalist, on assignments and soon began taking pictures. At about age 15 he started to keep personal journals, filled with photographs, drawings, and collages. He spent much of his youth aiding others, raising money for charity, and when he graduated from the International School of Kenya in 1988, he won the International Relations and Community Service awards. In 1992, after travelling extensively, Dan went to Somolia where a famine was raging. He was hired by Reuters based on his photographs of this tragedy. He continued to track this situation into 1993 during the escalating violence. His photographs began to be featured around the world. The horror of the situation was extremely difficult for Dan but he agreed to stay on to cover the events. In July 1993, Dan and three colleagues went to photograph a bombing and, in the ensuing confusion, all four men were stoned to death by an angry mob. Dan was 22 years old.

Dan accomplished so much over the course of his life. Although nearly 15 years have passed since his death, he continues to touch so many people in so many ways. To learn more about Dan and to read the entire story which **the description above is based on/copied from, please go to The Dan Eldon web site. It is part of Creative Visions Foundation. CVF was founded by Dan's friends and family following his death. CVF supports Creative Activists: people like Dan Eldon, who use media and the arts to raise awareness about critical social, environmental, and humanitarian issues impacting the world today and thus catalyzing positive and lasting change.



I was recently reminded of Dan's inspiring story and his journals when a permanent exhibit opened in New York City at the Candela/Decker Gallery. I have been lucky enough to have visited the gallery twice and highly recommend it. Dan's work, including his journals, is exhibited there. Seeing them in person was quite moving and inspiring. Many of his photographs, cameras, handmade postcards, and other personal items are on view. I found the people working there to be incredibly welcoming, knowledgeable, and helpful. Below are just a few of the items on exhibit.




In addition, the gallery also sells many unique and beautiful pieces sourced by the owners. The objects are international, unusual, often distressed and rusty, and arranged in interesting vignettes. I captured a few below:





They sell a book about Dan -- The Journals of Dan Eldon: The Journey is the Detsination, which is widely available for purchase. It is a moving tribute to an amazing man.









His journals are a site to behold and no pictures do them justice. But I will leave you with this last image anyway...

17 comments:

mcdc3s said...

What a touching history of this young man. I gasped at his young death. I can only imagine how great the pieces looked in person. Very inspiring.

bridgette said...

I love Dan Eldon's work too. I wish I could see his journal pages in person!

Leslie said...

I have that book -- The Journey is the Destination -- somewhere. Your post sent me on an unsuccessful (as of right now) search for it. Dan Eldon did accomplish so much in his too-short life. I am going to make it a point to get up to the Candela/Decker Gallery. Thanks.

Chris said...

Oh, Seth. I didn't know anything about this. I wish I were in New York, but you've brought me some of it, here. I'm going to read more about Dan. Thanks.

Gillian McMurray said...

What a sad story but such beautiful work. I have heard so many stories of enthusiastic young people like that meeting a bad end. A young, local lad was killed in Iraq a couple of years ago. He had dreamed of being a journalist for so long and had got his first major an assignment out there. Unfortunately in a case of mistaken identity he was shot in the head and killed. I think he was only in his early 20s too. The world is a crazy place.

steph said...

i agree with your thoughts on this mans work.. i read an article on his artwork once. amazed.

i love the 'scrap' in your billboard journal. LOVE that concept

Ro Bruhn said...

What a moving story, it's wonderful that he has so much to show for time here on earth. His journals are beautiful.

rivergardenstudio said...

What an incredible story and tribute to Dan Eldon. I too wish I could see this show and the gallery. I love the painted sticks especially! Roxanne

Gail P said...

I knew a little about him; the background you wrote about him is more concise than anything I've read before. Thanks for sharing this!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Wow! what a sad story... I really appreciate you bringing his work to our attention, Seth...

the world has so much to learn...

John Ackerson said...

If only the rest of us could be as brave, and active as young Dan Eldon was, I'm sure than real progressive change would be the result.

In another way, I can see how his lively, and intimate art was cartheutic in working through what he witnessed, and had to bear. It is inspiring to say the least!

Inspiring in that Dan could've easily chosen a course of self destructive behavior in drowning his sorrows, but chose the transcedental ability that art has to share with others!

notmassproduced said...

how tragic - what a brave person - thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Steph said...

I didn't know about him, thanks for sharing this amazing life and art !

Angela Rockett said...

I checked out The Journey is the Destination from the library a while ago, and it's amazing - his life, his work. Seemed kind of like Mozart, burned hot and fast - almost like he knew he had to experience as much as he could in a short time.

Seeing his work in person would be even more amazing. I'll have to see if I can get to that gallery while I'm in NYC next month.

eb said...

Seth - I was just telling David about Dan - his life, the journals, etc., and missing a few details to be sure - and here you have served it up for me - your blog is so amazingly current and full and rich and so very creative - so happy to have visited...

xox - eb.

Andrew Epstein said...

Dan's story in detail is told by Jennifer New in her book, Dan Eldon: The Art of Life, the follow-up to Journey is the Destination, also published by Chronicle Books.

Irma said...

I can only imagine how moving it must have been to actually see his journals up close and in person!
Dan's life and story is an inspiration to many on how to live an authentic life. I've been to NYC but didn't know they have a permanent exhibit of his work...oh well, I'll just have to go again!