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Vice Blog

DASH SNOW (1981-2009)

16.7.09

Twee
dagen geleden overleed in New York grafittiheld/kunstenaar/icoon van
een tijd en een levensstijl én een van Vice's beste vrienden, Dash
Snow. Dash stierf aan een overdosis heroïne en is niet ouder geworden
dan 27. Omdat het moeilijk is om
zinnige dingen te vertellen als mensen sterven waar je fan van was
zonder hen echt goed te kennen, laten we het woord aan Jesse Pearson, de
hoofdredacteur van Vice in New York, en aan zijn beste vriend, Ryan
McGinley.

Last
night I went home and dug out a picture that I took of Dash with his
Polaroid camera a few years ago when we were doing a late-night at his
house. He wrote in pen around the border of the image: "Moments Like
This Never Last… Krills, Horse, Good Times, Great Oldies." It stings
to see that drug talk in the context of right now, but it also reminds
me of his sense of humor and how alive and awake he was. It seems to me
that he packed more living into his 27 years than many people do in 80.

Advertentie

I
just saw Dash on the Fourth of July and he was positive, happy, and up.
He seemed totally clean and together that day, which makes what
happened so much more of a shock. He was one of the sweetest, funniest,
and most completely unique people I've ever known. And I've known some
doozies. We had adventures and late nights and early mornings and a lot
of talk and a lot of action. We'll miss him more than words are capable
of expressing.

Ryan McGinley introduced me to Dash at his place
on 7th Street a thousand years ago, and Ryan has something to say here
now. There will be a bigger tribute to Dash in our August issue. For
now, he and his family are in all of our prayers, or whatever you might
call the things we do that are like praying. Because we are doing those
things right now.

JESSE PEARSON

Remembering Dash Snow, July 14, 2009 
An Excerpt
Photos and words by Ryan McGinley

It's
hard to remember exactly when I met Dash. It seems like we were
immediately best friends. I guess I met him through Earsnot in the late
90s. Back then he was a graffiti writer known as Sace. He and Earsnot
started the graffiti crew IRAK. They were the biggest vandals in the
city. He was number one on the vandal squad's most-wanted list. But
they never got him. He somehow always got off or got away.

He was the wildest kid I've ever known. He would tag everything and be
running up on rooftops and climbing fire escapes. I remember when I
first met him he had just done a fill-in on the side of the Brooklyn
Bridge. It was insane. He climbed out on a tiny ledge on the outside of
the bridge and did a huge Sace.

Dash and I bonded instantly over photography. One of our favorite books to look at and talk about was American Pictures
by Jacob Holdt. We were always taking photos. We loved to document our
adventures and then compare them later. He carried his Polaroid camera
everywhere. His photos were from the heart--he had a loving obsession
with taking photographs. I always assumed he shot Polaroids because he
had the worst case of ADD you could ever imagine. I think even waiting
a minute for the image to develop was hard for him.

I remember hanging out at Dash's infamous apartment on Avenue C, where
the walls were covered with Saddam Hussein masks, porno magazines,
weapons, covers of the New York Post… His then-wife, Agathe, was always
taking care of us, and especially of him. He needed a lot of attention.
I spent a lot of time photographing their love affair. They were the
first couple to let me take photos of them making love. They had a pet
bunny, Gary, named after the graffiti writer Cinik, and a parakeet
named Sergeant Slaughter. They would be hopping around when we were
hanging out late into the night. When Dash was drunk, he would always
tell you how much he loved you. And you couldn't get him to stop
singing Rolling Stones songs. Right before the verse, he'd nudge you
and sing the words close to your face.

He was one of my first muses. He embodied everything that I wanted to
photograph and everything that I wanted to be: irresponsible, reckless,
carefree, wild, rich. We were just kids doing drugs and being bad, out
at bars every night. I don't think we ever saw each other in daylight.
We were like vampires. We spent a lot of time sniffing coke in the
bathrooms of The Cock (when it was on Avenue A) and The Hole (when it
was on Second Avenue). It was so fun to be secretive about it. I've
probably been in the bathroom of every bar below 14th Street with the
guy. Sniffing coke off toilet seats, doing bumps off each other's
fists, and always waking up in the morning with his keys in my pocket
or mine in his.

I've had so many adventures with Dash I just can't even remember them
all… Driving down one-way streets in Milan at 100 miles an hour,
blasting "I Did It My Way" in a white van. Wearing matching pink agnès
b. suits to my first art show in LA. Finishing all the drugs with him
until the sun was up. Finding new and innovative ways to cover windows
with towels, bed sheets, and newspapers so the night could last
forever. And bathroom after bathroom after bathroom. Why do I remember
the bathrooms the most?

Heroin, oh heroin, oh heroin. Taken the lives of so many great artists.
Taken so many of my friends' lives. I don't know if you're not supposed
to write about drugs when one of your friends dies of an overdose, but
those are all my memories of Dash. Drug and alcohol induced memories.
It's always been a bottle of Jack, a bag of coke, and some beers. And
lots of bathrooms. That was just our relationship. That's what our
lives were. Adventures on drugs. And it's what eventually led him to
his death.

One of my favorite things about Dash was always his
unconscious moving hand. He would be sitting there smoking cigarettes,
writing his tag in the air without being aware of it. I would just
smile and watch the smoke twirl into the letters S A C E. That's how
I'll always remember him.

Om Dash' werk te zien kijk je hier.