The first test of the posthumous market for artist Dash Snow’s work has been put on hold. According to Simon de Pury, chairman of auction house Phillips de Pury, shortly before his death Snow donated an artwork to artist Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center for sale at its benefit auction Saturday, July 25. In the art world, the $1,000-a-ticket Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation benefit is one of the most elaborate and elaborately costumed annual parties, and many major art collectors attend. De Pury says he has high hopes for the work, given that Snow was “one of the most interesting artists working today.”
But Watermill organizers say the artwork has been pulled from the benefit auction out of sensitivity to the artist’s family, pending a decision by Robert Wilson on whether it will go on the block. Wilson was a collaborator of Snow’s, a collector of his work, and a friend of the artist’s family, particularly of grandmother Christophe de Menil. At this point, “It’s still being decided” whether the work will appear in the auction, says Watermill.
Dash Snow’s death on Monday evening of a heroin overdose has prompted speculation on what his artistic legacy — and market value of his collages, photographs, and other artworks — will be. Some critics have noted that the 27-year-old artist produced relatively little work, much of it selling in the low five figures, and have said his talents were still unproven. But de Pury, whose auction house is the only one to have made a market in the East Village scenester’s art, disagrees. “He was already in some important private collections, he showed internationally, and to other artists he was a mythical figure already. He will be even more so now.” British ad magnate Charles Saatchi and Greek industrialist Dakis Joannou were among Snow’s collectors.