Dan Eels, I Need A Real Job

Dan Eells, I Need A Real Job, Satan Lives in the Stars, collage, $150.00, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts

“This show is titled, I Need a Real Job, this is prior to when I didn’t have a job. I was just like hustlin’ and bustlin’.On the grind. You know. I was trying to sell art, like most artists are trying to do. But, it’s just a variety of collages, abstract paintings, mixed media stuff, and I also did a little installation, my first one ever. So, I’m kind of pumped up about that a little bit. Yeah.”

Dan EellsI Need A Real Job, is seriously surreal, in the true spirit of collage, a mixed metaphor message emerges from the depths of our subconscious. Each collage has an element of tension and restraint in the narrative that plucks that nerve of strangeness. Collage in a way embodies modern art, the term was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century. In the 21st Century, information design from time gone by is repurposed by Eells to look outward by using imagery from the past. Photography is already unreal and unreliable imagery since it captures a moment in time that no longer exists in any tangible way except in the photograph, Eells’ collages have a time trip vibe to them that resonates on an ancient/future thought wave.

Dan Eels, I Need A Real Job

Dan EellsI Need A Real JobErutnevda, collage, $150.00, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts

I Need A Real Job by Dan Eels is sixty or more images in a broad swath of media and topics, Some of the patrons were chuckling at the artwork, DoN asked if the artwork is intentionally funny.

“Yeah, the titles are kind of funny. I like to have a sense of humor with some of the stuff, well, a lot of the stuff that I do. I’ll just play with the names, do the titles backwards, from what it’s supposed to be. There’s one called Adventure, that I wrote backwards, but I don’t know how to say Adventure backwards on the spot. I try to play with the title to make the piece more interesting. Kind of, you know?”


Dan Eels, I Need A Real Job

Dan EellsI Need A Real Job475, collage, $75.00, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts

Dan Eels, I Need A Real Job

Dan EellsI Need A Real JobThe Other Side of Midnight, collage, $100.00, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts

DoN asked Dan Eells where he finds the material for his collages.

“Someone I talked to on the internet had seen my work, I don’t know if you’ve seen the write-up? It was about me and my artwork. She sent me a bunch of old National Geographics. So, I was like, ‘I’ll jump on that.’ A lot of them are from the National Geographics and some are from the 80s, and encyclopedias, all old stuff, like thirty years old or more. I notice a lot of collage artists overdue it, so I tried to just step back and just do the amount that I knew was comfortable enough for me to enjoy. And they just sit well. They’re weird. It’s hard to explain, it’s a feeling, how I feel about it rather than a portrayal of what people think it’s supposed to be. I just think it’s fun.And I try and have a sense of humor in everything that I do.” – Dan Eells

Dan Eels, I Need A Real Job

Dan EellsI Need A Real Job, Pablo, watercolor, Micron, pencil, $150, Jack Kerouac,watercolor, Micron, pencil, $150, Uncle Walt, watercolor, Micron, pencil, $150 , Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts

“Well, this is how they started. I was doing collages for a few months and just like stopped drawing. And then I got tired of doing the collage stuff, because it’s like a fugitive hunt to find imagery that works well together. For me. When I started doing drawings again I started with a cooking timer, to have them all under a short period of time. So, it was like on a whim, see how fast I could draw. And it worked out pretty well. It started with the Jack Kerouac one, and I did that super-fast. I was just like I made a little list of who I would like to draw. I never fulfilled the list, hopefully one day I’ll just bang them all out.” – Dan Eells

Dan Eels, I Need A Real Job

Dan EellsI Need A Real Job, Same in the End, collage, $150.00. Good Morning, collage, $150.00, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, 22 North High Street, Millville, NJ.

The one-person exhibition of paintings, drawing and collage by Dan Eells is on view in the North Gallery through May 12th happily coinciding with the Millville Flower Festival.

Follow Dan Eells on Tumblr, @eellsone on Instagram.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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