Photo of the late artist/downtown denizen Dash Snow in July 2009, by Ari Marcopoulos
This year’s Whitney Biennial featured several videos indicating different modes and moods of America, from the elderly being interviewed on the state of their memory, to a young woman, clearly irate, speaking to herself, and another of a group of men in tights doing what looks like Pilates in a room filled with mats. Yes, the growing elderly population, neurosis in females, a gentler yet mass yogic fitness movement, all seem to be at play in our current state of mind. But, one artist, Ari Marcopoulos stood out in his video depiction of boys toying with sound petals and car models in a bedroom.
Every boy (and some girls) possesses a memory of this sort stashed in childhood slumber chambers.
Marcopoulos, now based in Los Angeles, arrived in New York City from his native Holland in the Eighties. He expected to stay a mere few months and ended up there for almost two decades. He fell in with the right insider crowd by mere artistic street instinct and ended up shooting portraits of Andy Warhol and, famously, Basquiat in a tub, before he died. So, it’s especially eerie that he captured the photogenic Dash Snow in dark days before his own suicide (above).
Marcopoulos, renowned for portraits that reveal a bit of the soul, shot this clip below, part of his short film now up at the Whitney Biennial. It kinda makes you yearn for a time of innocence, where you can make loud noises any time you like without reprimand.