Bio

Ash Thayer is a photographer and multi-media artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Ash was born in Memphis, TN in 1973 and attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, receiving a B.F.A. in Photography, then went on to earn an M.F.A. in Visual Arts at Columbia University. As a political activist involved in humanitarian and environmental issues, Thayer became involved in the housing crisis in New York in the 1990s after her own personal struggles with finding affordable housing while attending college. Thayer discovered the squatting community on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and lived in several of these buildings throughout the 90s. This work resulted in a monograph published by powerHouse Books in March of 2015, Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000.

In her recent work, Thayer generates highly produced portraits and directed narratives of warrior women within epic natural landscapes, created to conjure up depictions of heroism, role-play and gender fluidity. These projects work at the interstices of photography and performance. Thayer’s work has evolved to include video, live performance, sound and sculptural installations.

Thayer's work is held in several art collections including the Saatchi Gallery in London, The Chicago Art Institute, and The Museum of the City of New York. She has taught as an adjunct professor at New York University, Columbia University, and The New York Institute of Photography.

 

Solo Exhibitions:

2015         Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2015         Kill City, powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY

2007        Salon de Refuse, Sleep, Brooklyn, NY

 

Select Group Exhibitions:

2017    "Femmes Video Art Festival No. 3," The Situation Room, Eagle Rock, CA

2016    "Respectability Politics"  Outlet Gallery, 253 Wilson Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11327

2016    "Heroine," Elizabeth Houston Gallery, December 9, 2015 - January 24, 2016

2015     "Hit The Street," Outlet Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2015     "Vroom, Vroom," Outlet Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2014      "Bikesploitation," Ornamental Metals Museum, Memphis, TN

2011       "A Wealth of Plunder," New Albany Heritage Museum

2010      "Father Daughter Exhibition" Memphis College Of Art, Memphis, TN

2009      "Obsessions" 取り憑かれている情熱- MEM, Osaka, Japan

2004       Marian Boesky Gallery, Auction to benefit The Richard Foreman Hysterical Theatre

2003       “Innocence and Transgression," The Proposition, New York, NY September 2003

2001        Sundance Film Festival, Doubletake Magazine at The House Of Docs, Sundance Institute, Park    

                City Utah

2001        "How The West Was Won" CMC Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 2001

2001        "The Sidewalk Never Ends" Chicago Art Institute, November, 2001

2000-02  "Visualizing the Blues" Dixon Gallery, Memphis, TN, traveling exhibition

2000        Columbia University Thesis Exhibition Brooklyn, NY

2000        "New York Now 2000" Museum of the City of New York

1998         "Associated” Kean College, New Jersey

1997          "New Narratives, New Talent" Lawrence Miller Gallery

1997          Berlin Art Fair facilitated by Lawrence Miller Gallery

 

Education:

004-2007         Studied acting and directing, Terry Schreiber Studios in New York NY

2000                   M.F.A. Columbia University, New York, NY

1997                    B.F.A. The School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

 

Publications:

2015

Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000, by Ash Thayer, powerHouse Books, March 2015

2005

Catholic No. 1: Cats, Edited by Jesse Pearson and Glynnis McDaris, D.A.P.

2002

World Series, NYLON Magazine

2001

I Am A Camera, The Saatchi Gallery, Booth-Clibborn Editions

Bystander, Little, Brown and Company

Visualizing the Blues, The Dixon Gallery

1999

35 North, 90 West, Doubletake Magazine, September Issue

Authored Publications:

Feature Shoot, Ash Thayer, “A Photographer’s ContemplativeJourney Throughout The Southern United States," Interview with Glynnis McDaris, June 5, 2015

 

Film

Enmity: A Love Story                    2016    Writer, director, producer

Without You                                  2014   Writer, director, producer, actor, and editor

 

Artistic Awards & Grants:

2007                       The Steinhardt Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Fund

1997                        Jack Smith Award, Hips Road Recording Company

1992                        National Scholastics Award

 

Public Art Collections:

Museum of the City of New York

Saatchi Gallery, London, England

Chicago Art Institute

The Dixon Gallery, Memphis, TN

 

Academic Employment:

2005- 2008                           Adjunct professor, photography,  The School of Art and Art Professions, NYU

2005-2011                              Adjunct professor, photography, The New York Institute of Photography

2004-2005                            Adjunct professor, photography, at Columbia University

Summer 1999 and 2000       Adjunct professor, photography, Columbia University(two courses)

 

Select Press:

"A NEW GENERATION OF PHOTOGRAPHERS PAY HOMAGE TO ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE", Max Grobe Published on 01 April 2016

GO BACK IN TIME TO ASH THAYER’S PHOTOGRAPHS OF NYC SQUATTERS IN THE 90S, Max Grobe, Published on 24 February 2016

ausreiBer, “KILL CITY”, Review, Evelyn Schalk, summer 2015

Visual Arts Journal, School of Visual Arts, "KILL CITY" Fall 2015

Professional Women Photographers, "Mean Streets:4 Photographers, 4 Decades", by Catherine Kirkpatrick, October 2015

i-D Magazine, "Intimate Punk Portraits of 90s Lower East Side Squatters", Emily Manning, July 24,2015

American Photo, The 10 Best New Books of Spring 2015", by Jack Crager, March 23, 2015

American Photo, "Ash Thayer on Capturing the Squatters on the Lower East Side", By Jeanette D. Moses Posted April 8, 2015

The New Yorker, "Squatters of the Lower East Side," Jackson Krule, March 3, 2015

Daily Mail, "Punks, drunks and runaways in repose: An insider's point-of-view reveals the intimate side of squatters in the 1990s Lower East Side", by Josh Gardner, March 29, 2015

Fast Company, The Squatters Of '90s New York City, In Pictures, Carey Dunne, March 19, 2015

Flavorwire, Intimate Portraits of ’90s New York City Squatters, By Alison Nastasi on Mar 22, 2015

The Villager, "Squatters Live In Kill City" by Norman Borden

Bust, 8 Squatters Squatting In This Photo Book About 90'S N.Y.C., BY MADISON N NUNES

The Guardian, "Squatting in New York remembered: We were living out our ideals," Alex Rayner, December 15, 2014

MSNBC (online video), The Book Report with Richard Wolffe, 3/31/15

The New York Observer, "Take a Rare Look at New York’s Squat Communities in the 1990s" by Jennifer Nuefeld

Time Out New York, See classic photos of the Lower East Side’s ‘90s squatter population

PAPER, "MOVING PHOTOS FROM NYC'S '90S-ERA SQUAT SCENE", March 31, 2015

Hunger Magazine, (8page print spread), Kill City, by Holly Fraser

Chelsea Now, Squatters Live in Kill City

Sang Bleu, France (Print)

The Guardian, "Squatting in New York remembered: We were living out our ideals," Alex Rayner, December 15, 2014

Vice France, Noisey, Rod Glacial, "Ash Thayer Squattait Le Lower East Side Dans Le Annes 90 Et En A Ramene Plein De Photos" January 22, 2014

NY Times,  Colin Moyniham, “Squatter’s Paradise Lost,” October 6, 2013

The Atlantic, Mark Byrnes,  ”The Life of a 1990s Manhattan Squatter,” October 31, 2013  

Feature Shoot,  Jenna Garrett, ”Photos from an East Village, NYC Squatter Community in the 90s,”   October 28, 2013