Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Imitation of Life: Dash Snow Revisited

“See, people they don't understand.
No, girlfriends, they can't understand.
Your Grandsons, they won't understand.
On top of this, I ain't ever gonna understand...”

So sang the coda to the life of one Dash Snow, a life of privilege and a life short on days but not on nights. Dash Snow, along with Dan Colen and Ryan Mcginley, came in the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century to be synonymous with everything full of life and energy. The art they made meant, and maybe still means, a great deal to people of a certain age, time and place. Whether in 10, 15 or fifty years, it will still carry that weight, many would say it will not, matters not to those who were there, those to whom their art was a rush of blood to a near dead heart. The art of the previous decade was neither full of passion nor weight, although it was preoccupied with both. The art of Damien Hirst, Takeshi Murakami and Post Minimalists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres was many things, Austere, Jubilant, Decadent, Professional, Precise, Calculated etc. But one thing it wasn’t was alive. Whether you loved the mess that Dash, Dan and Ryan made or you hated it, you would never, ever mistake it for art made by “professional” artists in a studio with assistants and deadlines. No, Dash et al didn’t make art that was auction ready. They didn’t make art with the white walled Mausoleum (né the Museum) in mind. A lot of artists like to say that they make art because they HAVE to. These guys made art that actually looked like they had to. This was not over-thought, over-wrought art by committee, a product of an MFA Finishing School fast tracked to a Chelsea gallerist; this was art that was tossed off because those who made it felt like making it and if you didn’t like it than you could go fuck off, who cared what you thought. The fact that, at the time, A LOT of people did care didn’t and doesn’t change the outcome or the meaning, not one bit. Again, in fifty years will anyone remember Dash Snow, who knows but that wasn’t the point, now was it?

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