LomoAmigas Najva Sol and Molly Crabapple took an artistic stance on the Lubitel 166+. Najva Sol took photos of beauty then Molly Crabapple drew on the photos to take the photo to another level. Check out what they came up with after the jump!
Najva Sol is a multi-media artist, writer and photographer. She co-founded an artist collective called “The Lowbrow Society for the Arts”, where she curated various underground events, including a renegade art show on a subway car.
Molly Crabapple a NYC artist. She’s drawn for SXSW, Marvel and DC Comics, The New York Times, and her art is in the permanent collection of the New York Historical Society.
REAL NAMES: Najva Sol + Molly Crabapple
CITY: New York
How long have you been a Lomographer?
N: I was couchsurfing in Paris in 2008 and the family there had a Lomo book in their bathroom. I swear they thought I was taking the longest pee in the world, but actually, I was falling back in love with analog.
How are you able to incorporate Lomography in your art and your life?
N: It’s forced me to slow down the photography process- I’m so much more attentive to my subject because I have 12 frames instead of 500! And when I shoot with a Lomo camera- I always have the “anything can happen with these photos! I am not the all-powerful!” conversation because so many rolls have (beautiful) light leaks or end up over/under-exposed/blurry/etc. The lack of pressure helps me relax!
What was the inspiration and motivation behind “Transmography?”
N: Molly approached me to re-do our “Impossible Couture” series concept- and I thought, Lomo isn’t about polished, commercial looking photos- so why not capture something raw & real to me? As a qenderqueer artist, I know that trans bodies are rarely photographed in ways that are non-sexualized/exploiting. So, we decided to honor our fabulous queer friends- many of whom had never stripped in front of a camera before- by creating a fantastic film world where they are safe to show off the skin they are in.
M: I love how photography and hand-done illustration can interact. Me and Najva had previously collaborated on a series- Impossible Couture, and I was excited to work with her again. Getting to work with this moving, sensitively shot, stunning portraits of genderqueer and trans folk was an honor.
Najva: Can you write a haiku about Lomography?
Load, wind, focus, click:
The rest is in the hands of
the Lomo film gods.
Najva: Tell us about your experience with the Lubitel.
When I got it I had never shot: medium format, fully manual, or twin lens reflex. So you could say there was bit of “learning curve” (aka “ruined rolls of film”). But after that- woah. The quality of colors & light, the grain, the lack of distortion all blew me away. It’s my new favorite camera.
Molly: What images do you associate with Lomography?
Blurred, evocative photos from roadtrips. Epically stylish cameras.
Molly: What was your largest inspiration while drawing on top of Najva’s images?
The models! Some, like Leo had such motion-suggestive poses that I immediately saw their hair dissolving into a stream of blackbirds and sparkles. Others, like my friend Eleanor, who is a hacker, I tried to reference their interests.
Who you would most like to photograph (or draw (on)?
N: A bevy of my people, middle-eastern women like Shirin Neshat, the Iranian feminist artist, photographer Yumna, or DJ Fatima Al Qadri. I’m itching to get NYC babes about town Stoya, DJ Venus X and Gala Darling. If I were suddenly in LA, then dreamy musician Grimes & Melina Matsoukas- the girl behind my favorite music videos of the past few years! Dang, that’s more than one person. I wanna shoot all the girls who inspire me!
M: I’d love to work with Raven O, one of my favorite emcees in the world. Alan Cumming, Dita von Teese, and, and I’m so sad we couldn’t get him for this project, Buck Angel.
If you could hang around as a camera on anyone’s neck, who would that be?
N: Nan Goldin.
M: Martha Gellhorn
The strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest or most “unusual” photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had.
N: When my dad saw the Lubitel. He cracked up! Apparently, his first camera was the almost identical model. He’s an engineer, and couldn’t believe after all the technology, this was people chose to shoot with! Hmmm. Also, having the owner of Fleshbot.com as a (quite lovely) photo assistant for Jiz Lee’s shoot.
What’s coming up on the horizon? New projects? What’s in the works and what’s on your mind?
N: Well, I got an overwhelming response to the call for “Transmography” subjects, which makes me think there’s a need to continue to capture my community, perhaps in conjunction with other fine artists! Also- lately I’ve starting shooting more videos. Maybe I can get my hands on a LomoKino and make some magic?
M: I’m working on a comic book with my best friend, John Leavitt, about an evil carnival, as welll as Shell Game, a series of giant, hyper detailed paintings about the crises and revolutions of 2011
Your advice to future LomoArtists?
Every photograph is a collaboration: with a subject, an artist, an urban planner, a stylist, heck- even landscapes, that’s collaborating with the art of nature. Show us the story that needs to be told.
The Lubitel 166+ is a loving recreation of the Soviet-era classic. Based on a design that dates back over 60 years, this camera is updated with new features like the ability to shoot both 120 and 35mm film. Shoot mind-blowing images with the Lubitel 166+, available in our Online Shop.