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...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Billboard Three

BILL: a written or printed public notice or advertisement
BOARD: a flat surface, as an object of rectangular shape, on which something is posted
BILLBOARD: mixed media book inspired by old, neglected, and distressed billboards

Page 3 in Billboard

Ingredients: altered paper, ephemera, acrylic paint, dry transfer, pigment and dye ink, packing tape, found builders tape, pen. 6 1/2" x 3 1/4". Please click images to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In this previous post from my recent NYC art tour, I showed a series of photographs I took at ABC Carpet & Home. More than a place to shop, this is a place of endless visual inspiration. Check out their website to get a small taste of the experience. Their larger displays and smaller vignettes are constantly changing and sometimes they seem to manage the impossible by moving entire departments seemingly overnight. Several people commented and emailed about this particular picture from the post:

I wish I knew more about it. It was a large piece that I was unable to capture fully in a photograph because of the way it was displayed. The background was collaged with ephemera, sheet music, an old flower print, a vintage postcard, and real pressed flowers. It was overlayed with what-I-can-only-describe-as golden hued cracked glass. It was quite beautiful. And luckily I have a few other shots of details of the piece.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Collaborative glimpses and ations

So far 2008 has been all about collaboration. I have been busy working on a number of collaborative projects that I have recently started and have plans to embark on additional ones later in the year. To me these projects bring about a sense of excitation...there is always anticipation when waiting to receive the most recent work that your partner has completed and to see how the project has evolved...there is constant creation going on as the project changes and evolves with each mailing...there is hesitation when working on someone else's artwork, not always being sure if they will appreciate your addition...there is motivation to do your best work since you are contributing to your partner's vision...there is constant visual stimulation to be had in being able to repeatedly see and touch another artist's creations...and there are always high expectations regarding the outcome of the project and the completed piece.

So now for the presentation. Here are a few glimpses of some of the work I have recently completed in several different collaborative projects. As always, click to enlarge.

Here are some glimpses of the amazing pages started or added to by Sarah in my nature journal:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Billboard Two

Second page and detail from Billboard, my mixed media book inspired by old, distressed, and layered billboards.

Ingredients: altered paper, ephemera, acrylic paint, altered photograph, dry transfer, pigment and dye ink, pen. 6 1/2" x 3 1/4". Please click image to enlarge.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Billboard One

Now that I have completed Revolution, I have begun a new project: a book I am calling Billboard. It is loosely inspired by both the shape and the visuals of discarded billboards...with layers of old advertising, overlapping colors and papers, bits of text popping through, etc. Here is page one and a detail:

Ingredients: altered paper, ephemera, acrylic paint,dry transfer, pigment and dye ink, electrical tape, pen, sharpie. 6 1/2" x 3 1/4". Please click image to enlarge.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New York City Art Tour - Part 5

Sometimes the stores in New York City rival the city's museums and galleries for artistic inspiration. One in particular, ABC Carpet & Home, is a place I visit repeatedly...not for shopping but for visual stimulation, creative ideas, and photo opportunities. Click images to enlarge and see for yourself...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New York City Art Tour - Part 4

The Museum of Modern Art has several current exhibitions cutting across multiple media, including painting, drawing, photography, film, installation art, and so much more. Here are photos from a few pieces from the collections that inspired me:

Jack Whitten
Kappa, 1
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Tacita Dean
Gouache on gelatin silver print

Rodney Graham
Rheinmetall/Victoria 8
Still image from 35mm silent film

Marcel Duchamp
Rotary Demisphere, 1925
Painted papier mache demisphere fitted on velvet-covered disk, copper collar with plexiglass dome, motor, pulley, metal stand

Olafur Eliasson
Suspended in the Museum's atrium, this electric fan continuously swings above head level in ever-changing arcs

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New York City Art Tour - Part 3

The Museum of Modern Art is currently featuring an exhibit called Book/Shelf which presents works that seek to expand the notion of what constitutes a book. Pieces include traditional book forms, video, prints, installations, assemblages, and other formats. Below are some works that intrigued me:

This piece by Lenore Tawney, an amazing mixed media artist, is composed of ink on cork and seeds on book pages.

Richard Long created this artist's book by staining the pages with water and mud from the River Avon.

Brian Belott created a piece made up of 66 illustrated books with collaged additions. The books were exhibited on a table and included this book, with pages overflowing and thick with altered additions.

Dieter Roth created this book with pages selected from over 6,000 collages, photographs, and drawings he made while at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. I would have loved to flip through all the pages but it is presented under plexiglas.

John Latham took all 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica and transferred them first to 16mm black and white film in 1971 and later to video. He created this 6 minute 33 second silent film projecting one page per frame in a continuous loop. This still shot does not begin to capture the mesmerizing result.