Dash Snow

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Dash Snow
Dash Snow.jpg
Born(1981-07-27)July 27, 1981[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 13, 2009(2009-07-13) (aged 27)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Known forPhotography

Dashiell "Dash" Snow (July 27, 1981 – July 13, 2009)[1][2][3] was an American artist, based in New York City. He is a descendant of the de Menil family, known for their philanthropy and collection of American art. Snow's photographs depict scenes of sex, drug-taking, violence and art-world pretense with candor, documenting the decadent lifestyle of a group of young New York City artists and their social circle.[4] His artist friends often depicted in his work included Dan Colen, Ryan McGinley, Terence Koh and Dash's ex-wife Agathe Snow.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Dashiell A. Snow was born in 1981, to Taya Thurman and musician Christopher Snow and grew up on the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City.[5] He a had brother named Maxwell and a sister named Caroline.[5] His maternal grandfather was Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, father of actress Uma Thurman. His maternal grandmother was an art world fixture and set and costume designer Marie-Christophe de Menil.[6] He was a great-grandson of Dominique de Menil and John de Menil, French aristocrats who were heirs to fortunes based in textiles and oil-drilling equipment (from the Schlumberger oil dynasty) and founders of Houston's Menil Collection.[7]

He was rebellious as a child and, at 13,[1] was sent to the Hidden Lake Academy in Georgia, a residential treatment center specializing in the treatment of children with oppositional defiant disorder.[8] He did not graduate from high school.[8]


Snow began taking photographs as a teenager, he said, as a record of places he might not remember the next day, mostly due to hard partying.[9] He was prominent member of the IRAK graffiti crew in the 1990s and used the tag “SACE/SACER”.[4][10][11]

In 2005 he had his first solo art exhibition and he was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial.[5]

In 2006, Snow was included in The Wall Street Journal article titled "The 23-Year Old Masters", which profiled 10 emerging U.S. artists including Rosson Crow, Ryan Trecartin, Zane Lewis, Barney Kulok, Jordan Wolfson, Rashawn Griffin and Keegan McHargue.[12]

He was close friends with artist Dan Colen, with whom he created the well-known 2007 installation of shredded phone books in Jeffrey Deitch’s SoHo gallery, called Nest or Hamster Nest.[5][13]

Some of Snow's later collage-based work was characterized by his practice of using his own semen as a material applied to or splashed across newspaper photographs of police officers and other authority figures.[4]



Snow's work is held in the following public collections:

Personal life[edit]

At the age of 18, Snow married Corsican-born artist Agathe Snow.[7] They later split up and divorced. In July 2007, Dash's then-girlfriend, photo magazine editor Jade Berreau, gave birth to their daughter, whom they named Secret Midnight Magic Nico.[6]

Death and legacy[edit]

Snow died on the evening of July 13, 2009, at Lafayette House, a hotel in lower Manhattan.[2] His grandmother Marie-Christophe de Menil was quoted as saying that he died of a drug overdose.[3] The New York Times article commented that Snow "met a junkie’s end but did so in a $325-a-night hotel room with an antique marble hearth."[21] He was cremated in New Jersey. He is considered a member of the 27th Club, along with Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and many others who also died at the age of twenty seven. In 2016, Snow's estate sued McDonald's with a request to remove the tag "SACE" from the graffiti-themed interior design used in the European market, in order to "preserve his (Snow's) legacy" and copyright.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c "Dash Snow - Telegraph". London: telegraph.co.uk. July 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  2. ^ a b Roberta Smith, "Dash Snow, New York Artist, Dies at 27", The New York Times, July 14, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Roberta Smith,"Dash Snow, East Village Artistic Rebel, Dies at 27", The New York Times, July 15, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Gavin, Francesca (2009-07-15). "Dash Snow: An art icon for our times?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  5. ^ a b c d e Feuer, Alan; Salkin, Allen (2009-07-24). "Death and Life of Dash Snow, Artist, Addict and Provocateur". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  6. ^ a b Thompson, Haven. "Christophe de Menil: Blithe Spirit". W Magazine. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  7. ^ a b "Chasing Artist and Downtown Legend Dash Snow". New York Magazine. 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  8. ^ a b Sean O'Hagan, The last days of Dash Snow, The Observer, Sunday 20 September 2009.
  9. ^ Micchelli, Thomas (2006-10-15). "Dash Snow". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  10. ^ a b "Dash Snow's Estate to Sue McDonald's for Using His "SACE" Artwork Throughout Europe & Asia". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  11. ^ a b "Dash Snow's Estate Sues McDonald's for Copyright Infringement". Hyperallergic. 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  12. ^ Crow, Kelly (2006-04-17). "The 23-Year Old Masters". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  13. ^ "Dan Colen - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  14. ^ Merjian, Ara H. (2008). ""Babylon: Myth and Truth" at Pergamon Museum". Artforum.com. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  15. ^ "WHB". open-case-303. 2013. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  16. ^ "Exhibitions". White House Biennial. 2013. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  17. ^ "All artists in the collection: As of October 2015" Archived 2016-03-17 at the Wayback Machine, Whitney Museum of American Art
  18. ^ Patrick Amsellem, Dash Snow, Brooklyn Museum, 2009-05-22
  19. ^ Alexandra Peers, "Dash Snow Piece Pulled From Auction", Vulture.com, 17 July 2009. Accessed 7 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Piece Wont Go to Bid", Blouinartinfo, 20 July 2009. Accessed 7 December 2017.
  21. ^ Alan Feuer and Allen Salkin (July 24, 2009). "Terrible End for an Enfant Terrible". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2009.

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