Dash Snow Dies of Addictive Disease


At Just 27, Dash Snow was an accomplished artist from a prestigious family, a legend in New York City’s downtown art scene. He also died of addictive disease and has become anther talented iconoclast consumed by his own self hatred, entitlement, isolation, romantic grandiosity, his depth of feeling and curiosity, his need to create and individuate from his family. Like Basquiat and so many others, Snow left the world in a grimy, junkie tradition, the stuff that makes great cult films but is sad and tragic for his family, his friends, and especially his child left with a legacy and family tradition that is extremely difficult to shake.

            Snow lived a life shrouded in mystery, addicts often do. They like to keep people guessing, it helps with the “maybe they are better” tone that addicts like to foster; it creates room for them to be left alone. Snow had a carefully cultivated image that included using his own semen in his artwork (art? really?) and creating what he called a “hamster nest” which was shredding some 50 plus phone books, drapes and linens from hotel rooms and then doing drugs until he “felt like a hamster”.  Where to begin?

            I often think of addiction as an invisible, odorless gas, it can be tricky and nuanced. Not so with Snow; it was profound, acute, even cartoonish. It is easy to draw the obvious parallels and tie it all together into a clichéd message, as clichéd as his death. Maybe the lesson is accepting that some addicts just won’t be on the earth for very long.


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