Ryan McGinley, Dash Bombing, 2000, C-print 69 x 92 cm.
Dash Snow, #25 (Saugerties),1998, 508x508 cm, Digital C-Print, Courtesy of Rivington Arms.
Dash Snow, Untitled, (Dakota Smoking), 2003, Digital C-Print, 50.8 x 50.8 cm.
Dash Snow, TBT, 2008, Digital C Print, 35.3 x 37.5", Edition of 3 + 2AP.
Dash Snow, Fuck the Police, 2005, 45 Framed press clippings, semen, Dimensions variable.
Dash Snow with daughter Taya at New York Opening Afterparty for a Terrence Koh exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery, April 4, 2009.
Born Dashiell A. Snow
(July 27, 1981-July 13, 2009)
By BLAIR SCHULMAN
"Snow ran away from home and began living on the streets at 13 or 14, and began taking photographs, he said, as a record of places he might not remember the next day.
"He was included in the 2006 Wall Street Journal article titled 'The 23-Year Old Masters,' which selected ten top emerging US artists including Rosson Crow, Ryan Trecartin, Zane Lewis, Barney Kulok, Rashawn Griffin and Keegan McHargue.
"The artist's photographic work is in a thematically similar mode to photographers Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, Ryan McGinley and Richard Billingham, often depicting scenes of a candid or illicit nature. Instances of sex, drug taking, violence and art-world pretentiousness are documented with disarming frankness and honesty, offering insight into the decadent lifestyle associated with young New York City artists and their social circles.
"Some of Snow's recent collage-based work was characterized by the controversial practice of using his own semen as a material applied to or splashed across newspaper photographs of police officers and other authority figures. His works have been acquired by influential collectors such as Charles Saatchi, Anita Zabludowicz, Dakis Joannou, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum.
He also tagged as part of the Irak Crew using the name "Sace."
By Blair Schulman
An interesting aspect of Dash Snow’s life is that he was fearful of not remembering it. Regardless of whatever rail he rode, Snow made sure to Polaroid his escapades of the night before in what photographer Jamel Shabazz called of his own work, a “visual diary.” The oeuvre of Snow's work is an interestingly precise catalogue of bacchanalian indulgence that spits in the face of a generation which tends to emulate the plasticine boredom of Brooke Hogan and Zac Efron.
He died on July 15, 2009 after a drug overdose at the expensive Lafayette House, on East Fourth Street, in New York City. His grandmother, the art collector and philanthropist, Christophe de Menil, confirmed his death. Snow is survived by a daughter, Seceret Aliester Ramirez Messenger Santa Creeper, aka Secret Magic Nico, by the photographer, actress and model Jade Berreau. He is also survived by a brother, Maxwell, a sister, Caroline, and his ex-wife, the artist Agathe Aparru, now known as Agathe Snow.
Born Dashiell Snow July 27, 1981, Dash came from a family that some might term “art world royalty,” and he played the role of Black Prince. His de Menil grandparents founded the Menil Collection, a private museum in Houston, Texas that is often regarded as “one of the most significant privately assembled art collections, alongside the Barnes Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Museum.” In 1974, Christophe's sister, Phillipa, co-founded the Dia Art Foundation which features some of the most prominent artworks of the 1960's and 1970's. Snow's mother Taya Thurman (from Christophe's marriage to Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, Taya is the half-sister of actress Uma) sent Dash to a reformatory in Georgia at age thirteen. After spending two years there, Snow moved on to New York City to start a life on the street. He ran with the graffiti gang IRAK, where he was known by the tag “Sace.” He dutifully recorded his life in a style that speaks to Nan Goldin, Larry Clark and Terry Richardson. Many of these photos were included in the 2006 Whitney Biennale.
He had his first one-man show at the now-defunct Rivington Arms on New York's Lower East Side in 2005. Before his death, he was represented by Peres Projects in New York City. His interpretation of found-images moved towards drawings in colored pencil over historic images. That was followed by Dada-esque collages made from headlines defying authority figures covered in his own semen. These collages have been collected by Charles Saatchi, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum and others. His series, Fuck the Police, a collection of news headlines on police brutality, brings to mind the work of other artists cum work, including British artist Jordan McKenzie's ejaculate sprinkled with carbon dust. Andy Warhols' Oxidation Paintings from 1978 of copper metallic paint and urine, which were intended to parody Jackson Pollocks drip paintings, also spring to mind. The work from these artists all stimulated an outward dialogue from the most private of ablutions.
While Snow created short Super 8 films converted to video, he was beginning associations with other New York City artists, including Adam McEwen and Dan Colen. They all experimented in the DIY-style of art originally conceived by artist Jack Smith. A 2007 New York magazine article accurately dubbed them “Warhol's Children.”
Fully tattoed and with waist-length blonde hair, Snow depicted a hackneyed decadence that appears to have rung true with young New York City artists and their coterie of midnight marauders, all striving to create a brand of social Darwinism they saw as unique.
In This Was Your Life at The Saatchi Gallery, “Snow used the sensational story of cannibal and self-style messiah Daniel Rakowitz as an inspiration for his installation.” The “drug den accoutrements of cheap leather sofa, potted plant, satanic medallion, and snake skin boots are compiled in shrine-like effigy, rendering a portrait of a monster as a sad, pathetic, ridiculous cliché.”
At one SoHo gallery, Snow created a “hamster's nest,” where he and his friends would shred up to fifty telephone books, take copious amounts of drugs until they began to “feel like hamsters.” A less-controlled similarity that seems to have derived its origins from the earliest Harvard College LSD tests of Timothy Leary and David Alpert.
On the surface, Dash Snow embodied the Inevitable Artist. It may have been his insider pedigree which made him determined to place himself so very, very far on the outside. He, along with his cohorts, created a microcosm of on-the-edge living that, in this generation of post-AIDS hysteria, will remember him as an artist that forced the borders of rigidity a little further outward.
Dash Snow, Untitled, 2006, Collage.
Dash Snow, Untitled (I Have Walked a Great While over the Snow, Collage, 2006, Courtesy Rivington Arms.