Photo-primitivism and Caviar

Hannah von Fetan, No. 3 Magazine, August 31, 2018


Philippe H. Guggenheim presents activist Dan Eldon’s Primitivist Photo-collage for a Cause at HG Contemporary (527 W 23rd Street)

Hannah von Fetan


Generational figurehead of Chelsea’s Gallery District, Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim keeps New York fresh and conscionable with a new show, “The Journey Is The Destination,” which will open the evening of September 6th, 2018 at HG Contemporary (527 W 23rd Street). The exhibition illuminates a beauty inside the struggle, which is so often lost against a hunt for the next path to pleasure.

In order to spread awareness of the Hunger Crisis in Somalia, artist Dan Eldon engages aesthetically with African culture to catalog the effects of Imperialism on a native identity. The nineteen limited edition Photo-Primitivist prints featured are mixed media masterworks, with a social message to jewel the crown. 

At the age of 22, Eldon’s persistent photographic journaling for outlets including Newsweek, Time and more, launched an international relief campaign, Operation Restore Hope that helped to save the lives of thousands of starving Somalis. Considering his activism sparked such immediate and tangible impact, his untimely death only two short years later in 1993 while on pursuit of his art is an unimaginable tragedy. The artworks in the show fossilize a moment in time before the explosion of digital media and international pluralism for a truly original perspective on tragic events still taking place today. 

While in visual dialogue amongst artists such as Peter Beard, Raphael Mazzucco and Arno Elias, Dan Eldon stands out for his brute sense of Expressionism and Primitivist elements. A semicontemporary of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the artist embodied the subject that he painted in more ways than one. Poppy red painted panels vibrate atop repetitive elements, collaged with portraiture and the quotidian remnants of film canisters, tins of caviar and the like. 

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