Deitch Projects has mounted a large, spirited exhibition to honor the memory of the artist Dash Snow, who died at 27 from a drug overdose at the Lafayette Hotel in New York on July 13. Organized by gallery director Kathy Grayson, with the help of Snow’s friends and family, the show opened at 76 Grand Street on Friday and runs through August 15.
Grayson told New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, “This is not a curated show. All memories are welcome,” and that is how it looks. The exhibition, titled Dash Snow 1981-2009 A Community Memorial, offers more than 100 original Polaroid prints, recently discovered in Snow’s studio; a sketchbook, collages, zines, and T-shirts by the artist; photographs of Snow and his street tags by others; and mementos by friends and loved ones.
Terence Koh contributed a photograph of he and Snow mocking one another’s racial identities and a fur hut — which replicates the instantaneous, table with a blanket playhouses, where he and Snow would spend time hanging out. The public is invited inside, where you’ll find a bunny lamp and hear a recording of “Cheree” by Suicide, a favorite song they shared.
Jade Berreau, Snow’s partner and mother of his two-year-old daughter, made a large note on brown paper that reads, “I love you/We are family/We belong together.” Meanwhile, Ryan McGinley made black-and-white blowups of some of his famous photos of Snow over the years and Christophe de Menil, Snow’s grandmother, added blow-ups of the artist’s equally famous Polaroids.
T-shirts on view flaunt such provocative phrases and graphics as Bin Laden Youth 212-673-3000; an illustration of Snow with a whip up his ass; an LA County police mug shot of Snow; and the three skulls that Snow proudly had tattooed on his chest.
A small collage by Snow uses found text that reads, “The Skys the Limit,” while the largest work in the show, a light-box piece from the artist’s 2007 solo show at Peres Projects in LA, appropriates text from the infamous New York Magazine article about the artist that asks, “How much talent does it really take to come on the New York Post, anyway.”
Outside the gallery, there is graffiti, which includes Snow’s street-tag Sacer and a portrait of the artist, sporting a hat and long locks. According to a post on the ANIMAL website, the Sacer “fire extinguisher tag” was made by GLACER and the portrait was spray-painted by SEEDR.
Roberta Smith refers to Deitch Projects small, high-ceilinged space as being “chapel-like.” Considering that this is a three-week show without works for sale, and one in which the public can bring flowers and add their own mementos, it should be added that Jeffrey Deitch and his staff are being wonderfully gracious to the memory of an artist they loved.
Read more about the media coverage of Dash Snow’s life and times on Flavorpill.