“The Art of Life,” The Dan Eldon Art and Photography Exhibit opens in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday September 10, 2004 at the Farm and Home Bank Building located at 10th St. and Locust St. in downtown St. Louis.
The traveling exhibit of Dan Eldon’s work, Images of War/Celebrations of Peace, is a powerful, affecting tribute to a young artist and his rich, brief life. Containing photographs from Dan’s work in Somalia with the news agency Reuters, large reproductions of his collages, and a variety of art supplies and personal belongings, the exhibit has inspired audiences in six countries.
During his last year of life, Dan Eldon—the son of a British father and American mother who grew up in Kenya—was among a small cadre of journalists who alerted the world to a major famine in Somalia. As many as 1,000 people a day were starving to death when Newsweek, Time, and many international daily newspapers began to pick up Dan’s images in 1992. According to his bureau chief at Reuters, Dan shot some of the finest images of the horrors of the tragedy that was then Somalia.
Although more than a decade has passed, Eldon’s images remain fresh and relevant. A photograph of an American Marine with a gun to the head of a bound Somali, trying to maintain control of an increasingly chaotic situation, reverberates with today’s viewers. As do Eldon’s collages—sometimes meditative, sometimes joyful, often humorous—which he began keeping at age 15 and maintained until his death. Together with the photographs, they are an inspiring record of what it means to grow up in a complex world with one’s eyes and ears wide open.