Multiple sources tell us that Dash Snow—photographer, semen artist, graffiti writer, and embodiment of the downtown NYC scene—has apparently died of a heroin overdose, two years shy of his 30th birthday.

We got a tip this morning that Dash had overdosed last night. Earsnot, a.k.a. Kunle Irak, a fellow downtown artist and one of Dash's best friends, posted this on his Twitter page this morning:

A separate source close to Dash confirmed to us this morning through an intermediary that Dash has died. It's already popping up on Twitter, as well. We'll let you know more details as we learn them. (Snow's gallery, Peres Projects in Berlin, isn't releasing a comment).

Dash Snow was most memorably profiled by Ariel Levy in New York magazine two years ago. He and his friends came up in the downtown graffiti scene, and branched out to find success in the art world, without ever losing their bizarre, drug-addled edge.

What makes the legend richer is that Dash Snow could very easily have lived a different kind of life, been a different kind of artist. Snow's maternal grandmother is a De Menil, which is to say art-world royalty, the closest thing to the Medicis in the United States. His mother made headlines a few years ago for charging what was then the highest rent ever asked on a house in the Hamptons: $750,000 a season. And his brother, Maxwell Snow, is a budding member of New York society who has dated Mary-Kate Olsen. But Snow has concocted something else for himself. He has been living as hard as a person can-in and out of jail, doing drugs, running from the police-for a decade. He's unschooled, self-taught.

The Irak crew, which Dash helped found, is now world famous. You can still see his "SACER" tags around the city. His fine art was somewhat less conventional:

Snow has been working with his own ejaculate a lot lately; his contribution to the Saatchi show was a piece called Fuck the Police, which featured sprays of his sperm on a collagelike installation of tabloid cutouts, headlines about corrupt cops.

Dash's other items for sale included T-shirts and his coke, sold on Ebay. Whether you liked his art or not, you have to admire the fact that he was a unique dude. R.I.P.

[Pics: TheWorldsBestEver, BLean's Flickr. More on Dash at Blogue.]