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Death of an Enfant Terrible

Joe Holley

Among the more interesting obits in the news today is that of Dash Snow, a star-crossed artist who died of a drug overdose at age 27 in a New York hotel room. A New York Times article reported that detectives found the following items in his room: an empty can of Amstel Light, an empty can of Heineken, an empty bottle of Bacardi rum, three used syringes and 13 glassine envelopes emptied of heroine.

"It was a gruesome end -- a pathetic end -- for an artist and provocateur who, at least according to his birthright, never should have been there to begin with," the Times noted. "Dash Snow was, in no particular order, a jokester, a jaibird, a thief, a freak, a successful art-brut savage, a doting father, a connoisseur of various cocaine bathrooms, a retired writer of graffiti and the latest incarnation of that timeless New York species, the downtown Baudelaire."

He also was the scion of the famous de Menil family. His great-grandmother Dominique de Menil was heiress to the Schlumberger oil fortune and a major art collector. His mother, Taya Thurman, is Hollywood actress Uma Thurman's half sister.

Whether young Mr. Snow was a serious artist or an absurd poseur remains an open question. His works included "Hamster's Nest," 2,000 shredded phone books destroyed over five nights.

Read about Dash Snow in the Times and in the London Daily Telegraph.

By Joe Holley  |  July 26, 2009; 5:18 PM ET
Categories:  Joe Holley  
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