RIP Dash Snow
A few years ago, I was wandering around Berlin galleries and saw a Dash Snow exhibition. I didn't really know who he was at the time but I was completely blown away by it. Something special so I am bummed he won't be around to make more art.
Remembering the Berlin experience makes me wonder how anyone knows what is "good" art and who gets to call anything art. I just spent the day reviewing submissions for Art Bank, the city's art collection. Over 300 artists applied and it was an arduous process to review each work and decide which ones to purchase with public money. We had to pass over plenty of great artists because of limited funds. There were differing opinions on many works, which I think reflected personal tastes, but it was interesting that we all pretty much agreed on a few works that we thought belonged in the city's collection. How was it that a room full of people who look at art from different perspectives could all agree so thoroughly? What was it about certain works that seemed so obviously to be "good art," at least good enough for us to use public money to purchase?
The Web site Gawker reported this morning that 27-year-old artist and downtown "it" boy Dash Snow died last night of a heroin overdose, and the report has been confirmed in the New York Times by his grandmother, the collector and philanthropist Christophe de Menil.
Snow is known for his graffiti, photography, and artworks created using his own semen. He was an early artist of the now-defunct Rivington Arms gallery on New York's Lower East Side and is currently represented by Peres Projects of Berlin and Los Angeles.
In addition to being part of the near-art-world-royalty de Menil clan, Snow, who was born in 1981, is also the grandson of Robert Thurman, Christophe's ex-husband and actress Uma's father (which makes Uma his aunt).
Snow eschewed these pampered scenes for a life of drugs, stealing, graffiti, and jail time, however, becoming a kind of mascot, according to a 2007 New York Magazine profile, for young art star Ryan McGinley when he was still an art student, and Snow was a 16-year-old living on the Lower East Side. McGinley has chronicled Snow for years, both by obsessively photographing him and his dark underworld and by keeping careful catalogues of Snow's work, “Because you never know what’s going to happen with Dash.”
Short URL: http://bit.ly/KrJDk