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Preview “KILL CITY: LES Squatter Photographs by Ash Thayer ~ Opens Sept 19th at Superchief Gallery

"Anyone wondering about the end of bohemia can consult this book, which documents its last incarnation, at least in New York City. Few bohemians can ever have worked as hard as the squatters, who earned their homes and their lives; they were rewarded with forcible and violent eviction. Ash Thayer's remarkable pictures chronicle a time, only two decades ago, that seems impossibly distant now."
-Luc Sante

Superchief Gallery is proud to the present the first west-coast showing of Ash Thayer's KILL CITY. Please enjoy the preview images below, along with materials from the gallery and a link to RSVP.

Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000

Opening Reception:
September 19th, 2015
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Superchief Gallery LA
739 Kohler St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Exhibition runs until September 27, 2015
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday
12:00 - 5:00 PM

Superchief Gallery is producing a full exhibition and book signing reception of Ash Thayer’s KILL CITY: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000. There will be a slideshow presentation by Ash, as well as a discussion with contemporary squatter and legal advocate Steve DeCaprio.


Kill City is a true untold story of New York’s legendary LES squatters by insider Ash Thayer. After being kicked out of an apartment and with no other housing options, Ash was first welcomed as a guest at See Skwat and went on to live in several different squatter buildings throughout the ‘90s.

New York City in the ‘90s saw the streets of the Lower East Side overun with derelict buildings, junkies huddled in dark corners, and dealers packing guns. People in desperate need of housing, worn down from waiting for years in line on the low-income housing lists, had been moving in and fixing up city-abandoned buildings since the mid-80s in the LES.Squatters took over entire buildings, but these structures were barely habitable. They were overrun with vermin, lacking plumbing, electricity, and even walls, floors, and a roof. Punks and outcasts joined the squatter movement and tackled an epic rebuilding project to create homes for themselves.

The squatters were forced to be secretive and exclusive as a result of their poor legal standing in the buildings. Few outsiders were welcome and fewer photographers or journalists. Thayer’s camera accompanied her everywhere as she lived at the squats and worked alongside other residents. Ash observed them training each other in these necessary crafts and finding much of their materials in the overflowing bounty that is New York City’s refuse and trash. The trust earned from her subjects was unique and her access intimate.


1. Jason, Fifth Street Squat, 1994
2. April’s Room, See Skwat, 1996
3. Jill and Dog on Fire Escape, 1994
4. Famous, Pregnant and Building Windows Seventh Street Squat, 1994
5. Carrie Taking a Break From Working on the Window, Fifth Street Squat, 1995
6. Rubble and Garbage Removal from Serenity House Lot, 1996
7. Famous Jackhammering a New Window, Seventh Street Squat, 1994
8. Ordering Pizza, See Skwat, 1997
9. Summer on the Fire Escape Dos Blockos, 1997
10. Meggin and Jill Leaning on the Front of Fifth Street Squat, 1996
11. Caroline Looking Out of Her Window, Serenity House, 1996
12. J.p., Summer, Fifth Street Squat, 1995
13. CB3 Meeting, Protesting the Planned Thirteenth Street Squat Eviction, 1995
14. Barricade Being Built at Thirteenth Street Squat Eviction, 1995
15. Street Rally and Protest Against Thirteenth Street Squat Eviction, 1996
16. Michael Shenker at the Re-occupation of Glasshouse Squat, 1996
17. The Dregs at ABC No Rio, 1998
18. Neil Diamond, Cocktail Party, 1996
19. Jody Cooking Dinner, Fifth Street Squat, 1996
20. Fly Building Walls Seventh Street Squat, 1994
21. Mad T and Towers, Serenity House, 1997
22. Beer Olympics I, Williamsburg, 1994
23. Micah, Beer Olympics, 1994

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