Downtown New York artistic circles today mourn the death of Dash Snow, the former IRAK graffiti artist, sometime nudist, and all-around hipster deity who was also heir to an art-collecting dynasty. His work in the medium of Polaroids, collage and, err, his own semen has been alternately praised and derided, but what’s generally overlooked is the instrumental role his work played in Jake Johnson’s addition to the Sovereign Sect.
But first a word on the “hamster nest,” among Snow’s innovations that did not include bodily fluids:
Saatchi got them a fancy hotel room on Piccadilly. They had to flee it in the middle of the night with their suitcases before it was discovered that they’d created one of their Hamster’s Nests, which they’ve done quite a few times before. To make a Hamster’s Nest, Snow and Colen shred up 30 to 50 phone books, yank around all the blankets and drapes, turn on the taps, take off their clothes, and do drugs—mushrooms, coke, ecstasy—until they feel like hamsters.
Flash forward to the summer of 2007, when Snow and affiliates expanded on the idea for a gallery show; while the skateboard world was transfixed by the resurgent career of Peter Smolik, a young Jake Johnson endured a literal trial-by-fire intro to Jason Dill’s brand of artsy weirdness, as related in the most recent Thrasher interview issue:
Any good Dill stories?
One of the first times I went to skate with Jason, Brengar and I met him at 2 am at this art gallery downtown. It was this 10- by 10-foot cubicle room filled with newspaper shavings. It looked like this giant human hamster cage with little pieces of paper fluff everywhere and weird music playing. Jason was there and he got Brengar to film his buddy lighting an aerosol can on fire while Jason skated as fast as he could and ollied into this big hamster cage.