Tom Dash’s Post-Production Paintings
Tom Dash creates “post-production paintings” through a process similar to Richard Prince in his appropriating ways, repetitive imagery (Dash says, “sometimes, when you get ahold of an image, you just use it a lot”), and an affinity for Kate Moss—he created a whole series of works around a photograph of her where he thought she was “channeling Lindsay Lohan”—Dash established himself prior to his assistantship, through traditional training and many years living in Portland, Oregon where he founded his own gallery.
Now working on the East coast, Dash’s artworks are characterized by societal commentaries, focusing on American imagery—racecars, pin-up girls, and album artwork from his favorite bands—inspired by his upbringing in suburban Long Island in the 1980s. One such band was ’80s heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, whose debut 1981 album, “Too Fast For Love” was the title of Dash’s one-night-only solo exhibition during Art Basel in Miami Beach last December. The show consisted of collaged works, thematically focused on 1960s hot-rod culture featuring automotive emblems, bumper sticker motifs, and photographs of scantily clad, heavily tattooed females, in a presentation that one couldn’t help but link to the present American automotive crisis.
Dash admits that while he is skilled at drawing, he “was always drawn to a graffiti mindset of making art, like using a Super Soaker or a spray can or something”—water guns are in fact a common implement he uses for painting. He notes that “post-production-type art is kind of like the language of my generation”; this language is the result of the process of replicating—and ultimately appropriating—found images through use of a photocopier, collaging the images onto canvas and painting around or on top of them. Dash is drawn to the photocopier because of the imperfections it produces, giving his paintings interest, before the paint is even applied.