July 14th, 2009 by admin
Visual artist Dash Snow who became notorious for his graffiti around New York City died today from a drug overdose aged 27. Dash is the latest in a string of nearly 40 significant artist deaths at 27 over the last century. Other famous 27s include Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and members of the Grateful Dead, Big Star, Badfinger, the Stooges, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Manic Street Preachers, and The Mars Volta.
Dash Snow’s death was confirmed earlier today by his grandmother, Christophe de Menil, an art collector and philanthropist.
He was a hard-living soul who will was already an underground legend thanks to his muse-like status in photographer Colen McGinley’s drug addled and intimate work.
Dash often made collages that he assembled from found images and also used video and his own photography in exhibitions in NYC, Los Angeles, and London.
New York Magazine ran a feature about Dash and his crew titled “Warhol’s Children” January 7, 2007.
In 1988 Jean-Michel Basqiuat, modern art’s graffiti genius (and friend of Andy Warhol), died from a drug overdose aged 27 as well.
Samadhi Creations’ award-winning non-fiction graphic novel “The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll,” which was published to great acclaim earlier this year, retells the history of rock & roll seen through the lives and legacies of the three-dozen musicians who each died at the age of 27.
Added July 15th:
News about Dash Snow’s death has now been reported by the Guardian, the New York Times. Gawker broke the story yesterday, erroneously writing he was two years shy of his 30ieth birthday; Dash Snow died 27 years old.
Writer Ariel Levy wrote about Dash in much-read feature in New York Magazine two years ago:
“What makes the legend richer is that Dash Snow could very easily have lived a different kind of life, been a different kind of artist. Snow’s maternal grandmother is a De Menil, which is to say art-world royalty, the closest thing to the Medicis in the United States. His mother made headlines a few years ago for charging what was then the highest rent ever asked on a house in the Hamptons: $750,000 a season. And his brother, Maxwell Snow, is a budding member of New York society who has dated Mary-Kate Olsen. But Snow has concocted something else for himself. He has been living as hard as a person can-in and out of jail, doing drugs, running from the police-for a decade. He’s unschooled, self-taught.”
The web is filled with a mix of caring and vicious comments about Snow’s art and lifestyle, which go hand in hand. Fact is he was addicted to heroin, but his art was also displayed in major galleries in NYC, London, and LA–including the Whitney Biennial, and some of his works picked up by collectors over the past few years. There’s little doubt that Dash Snow, given this article, his De Menil pedigree, the anarchistic creative crew he was part of, and the widespread news about his death will leave a legacy like the rest of The 27s. The young, tragic death of an artist always seems to do that.