Gallery: Photographer Jason Schmidt’s Portraits of Artists

Jason Schmidt’s Nest, an enfant terrible’s family photo. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Since 1997, the New York–based photographer Jason Schmidt has shot portraits of, he estimates, more than 500 artists — images since collected in a series of books. “You will never hear me say, ‘Pretend you’re painting,’ ” Schmidt writes in the afterword to Artists II. Schmidt photographed artist and provocateur Dash Snow in 2007, along with his partner, Jade, and their then-15-day-old daughter, Secret. The three were resting amid Snow and Dan Colen’s installation Nest at Deitch Projects in Soho.

The idea for Nest, which was adorned with incendiary graffiti, came, says Colen, from “a road trip to Miami in the end of 2003,” wherein he and Snow, who died of an overdose in 2009, checked into cheap hotels, got naked and high, shredded phone books and down pillows, and crawled around the rooms like hamsters. Schmidt showed up at Deitch on an early-August day and immortalized the new family, complete with a hungry baby. “I love how we’re all connected,” says Jade of the photo. “The image becomes a sort of infinity.”

Artists II, by Jason Schmidt, will be published November 24 by Steidl. “Dash Snow: Freeze Means Run” opens November 9 at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut.

*This article appears in the November 2, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.

Gallery: Jason Schmidt’s Portraits of Artists