The Web site Gawker reported this morning that 27-year-old artist and downtown "it" boy Dash Snow died last night of a heroin overdose, and the report has been confirmed in the New York Times by his grandmother, the collector and philanthropist Christophe de Menil.
Snow is known for his graffiti, photography, and artworks created using his own semen. He was an early artist of the now-defunctRivington Arms gallery on New York's Lower East Side and is currently represented by Peres Projects of Berlin and Los Angeles.
In addition to being part of the near-art-world-royalty de Menil clan, Snow, who was born in 1981, is also the grandson of Robert Thurman, Christophe's ex-husband and actress Uma's father (which makes Uma his aunt).
Snow eschewed these pampered scenes for a life of drugs, stealing, graffiti, and jail time, however, becoming a kind of mascot, according to a 2007 New York Magazine profile, for young art star Ryan McGinley when he was still an art student, and Snow was a 16-year-old living on the Lower East Side. McGinley has chronicled Snow for years, both by obsessively photographing him and his dark underworld and by keeping careful catalogues of Snow's work, “Because you never know what’s going to happen with Dash.”
Snow currently has work on view in “Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture” at the Saatchi Gallery in London. His work has previously been shown at Deitch Projects, Gagosian, and dozens of other galleries worldwide, as well as in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney and the Brooklyn Museum. His last solo show, "God Spoiled A Perfect Asshole When He Put Teeth In Yer Mouth," was at Peres Projects in Los Angeles in 2007.