Jessie Askinazi is a communications creative who works in the areas of the arts and social advocacy. She is currently producing her upcoming podcast, "The Crimson Coyote," which is a conversation series that explores the ways in which personal and cultural wounds are mended through creative practices. Jessie shot some gorgeous photos while exploring with the LC-A+. Check out her series here.
Hi Jessie! Please introduce yourself to the community.
Oh, hello! My name is Jessie Askinazi. I collaborate with non-profits, oftentimes bridging the arts with social advocacy. I've photographed for a slew of publications (most notably Purple Fashion Magazine's diary, where I document cultural events). I also write artist profiles, essays, and poetry. Most of my recent time has been spent arguing with middle-aged ladies about Brexit. I'm awfully inspired by the visuals in Italian Giallo films, as well as the sound of Scott Walker's voice. You can find me painting my face with yogurt to yield its lactic acid benefits.
How did you first discover your love for photography?
When I was a girl, I was very devoted to my Leonardo DiCaprio shrine (which was comprised of photos of him that I downloaded from AOL). So, I consider that a heavy introduction to portraiture. I also liked taking pictures of local music shows with my friends on disposable film cameras. It was so exciting to develop disposable cameras because they were these totally single-serving vessels; you really had to make the pictures count. But I really came into my preoccupation with photography when I first moved to New York City. I would frequent what was Gallagher's Fashion Archives in the East Village. Gallagher's was a library of vintage fashion magazines, books and photography prints, and it was my favorite place to spend time. I wonder what's there now? Probably a Chipotle...
Tell us more about this series of photos. What was the concept/idea behind it?
All of these travel photos were taken on Lomography cameras, and most of the film was cross-processed. I'm pretty consumed by wanderlust and prefer roaming alone. The overarching themes here seem to be loneliness, being lost, and abandonment, which, coincidentally, is what I pay my therapist to discuss! I guess one could say that I'm a "moody lady" (AKA there's a melancholic phantom that tends to douse my images). The weird part is, it's not even intentional! I like capturing things or places that were once inhabited, but have been left behind; that's where I feel most comfortable, right in the heart of deconstruction.
Pick a photo and tell us the story behind it.
I took this photo at The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (Missouri). I didn't realize that I had loaded my camera with Fuji Velvia 100 slide film (which is intended for outdoor/daylight use). I was like, "Oh well! I guess that one will go in the trash!," but I developed it anyway just to see if anything would come out. Fast forward to this demonic apocalypse you see before you: I still don't understand how this happened? There was hardly any light inside! I tried to take a traditional image of the cathedral's interior, but apparently, I am Satan's daughter.
What was your favorite thing about shooting with the LC-A+?
The LC-A+ is my favorite camera. I like how the pictures I've taken with it look "slightly off". I'm drawn to things that are slightly off. It's like Jungian dream theory, hitting a nerve beyond the conscious self. This camera demands a certain level of depth, and for me, has acted as a portal to the mischievous.
What is coming up for you? Any exciting projects in the works?
I am currently building a podcast/blog project called The Crimson Coyote. It's a conversation series about mending personal and cultural wounds through creative practices. Visit my website for updates (or if you're interested in sponsoring my work * cough cough * ), and follow my Instagram.