Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Mom and I in a polaroid, 1976 •••• Mom's most recent lipstick in her favorite red-orange shade, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Aunt Mary, Nana on Long Island, late 1940's •••• Mom's swim cap, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom in the kitchen of the first apartment she shared with my Dad in Brooklyn after they got married, 1963! •••• Mom's hairbrush after her chemo treatments started, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and Dad in a portrait taken right before they got married, 1962 •••• Mom's last bottle of Chanel No. 5, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom's senior prom, 1958 •••• Mom's white winter gloves, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and Aunt Alice in Levittown, Long Island, 1950's •••• Mom's high school insignia pin and bracelet, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom in the backyard of Nana's house in Levittown, LI, 1969 •••• Mom's Rod Stewart cassette tape from her car, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom on her honeymoon, Bushkills Falls,PA, 1962 •••• Mom's Brownie "Holiday" camera she got when she was 13, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom at Nana's house in Levittown, NY, 1964! •••• Mom's Irish cape made by a relative of ours in Dublin, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom on vacation with my Dad in Florida, 1967 •••• Mom's cigarette lighter case purchased in Puerto Rico on vacation in the 1980's, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and Aunt Lucy in Brooklyn, 1963 •••• Mom's Christmas charm bracelet, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom on vacation in Nova Scotia, 1963 •••• Mom's scarf from 1960's, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and Dad in upstate NY in a photo taken by me as a child in the 1980s •••• Mom's hair mister for blow drying, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom holding me at the Central Park petting zoo, 1974 •••• Mom's watch from the 1960's, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and I during Christmas, Jamaica, Queens, 1982 •••• Mom's most recent pair of house slippers, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and I apple picking in upstate New York, 1983 •••• Mom's sewing kit, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom at the Breezy Point Beach Club we belonged to in Queens, 1979 •••• Mom's most recent Covergirl blush, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom in Tuxedo NY, 1970 •••• A note Mom wrote for me about a film she liked and wanted me to find on DVD for her, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom in the kitchen of our house in Queens, 1980s •••• Mom's clutch, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom on vacation with Dad in Nova Scotia, 1963 •••• Mom's last pair of sunglasses, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

Mom and her beloved bird Bingo, who died the same day she found out she was pregnant with me, Queens,1968 •••• Mom's engagement ring, 2014

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Loeber

More galleries on Framework

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reFramed: In conversation with Jennifer Loeber

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reFramed: In conversation with Jennifer Loeber

“reFramed” is a feature showcasing fine art photography and vision-forward photojournalism. It is curated by Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson. Follow Barbara on Instagram and Twitter.

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Jennifer Loeber was born and raised in New York City and received her BFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art.

jennifer loeber portrait

She has been exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, the Griffin Museum of Photography, The Center for Fine Art Photography, the SCOPE Art Fair in New York City, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Photoville Festival and Rayko Gallery.

Her work has been featured in publications such as CNN, Huffington Post, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Guernica, Le Journal de la Photographie and GUP Magazine. She was also included in the book The Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography published by The Humble Arts Foundation.

She has received numerous honors and awards for her work including a Terry O’Neill TAG award nomination (2012), a Darkroom Residency at The Camera Club of New York (2011), Finalist in Photolucida’s Critical Mass (2011), Honorable Mention in CENTER’s 2010 Project Competition and inclusion in Review Santa Fe (2010).

Jennifer currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

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Q: Your essay, “Left Behind,” is such a poignant response to you mother’s death.  What inspired you to pair old family photographs with her mementos?

A: Sifting through decades of family photos for a slideshow at my mom’s memorial service, combined with helping my dad clean out her closet, planted the original seed of an idea. I’m already nostalgic under the happiest of circumstances, so dealing with a parent’s death ratcheted that impulse way up. I kept bags and bags of her possessions without knowing what I was going to do with them in my one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment. Shoving everything into a closet worked for a while, but I started to feel sad every time I reached for a roll of paper towels and saw her things sitting there.

At some point I realized I had to engage with her belongings in some sort of cathartic way or they were going to continue to be a source of haunting gloom instead of joyous memories. I had recently started using Instagram and felt that it was a low-pressure platform to share these personal and emotionally loaded objects. I didn’t have any expectations other than trying to gain some perspective and levity out of a terrible moment in my life.

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Q: Grieving is a long, complicated process …. has creating this incredibly personal work been cathartic for you?

A: Working on the series was absolutely liberating. Sitting on my floor and deciding if I should include one of her amazing ’80s clutch bags, or a white leather Jordache belt I vividly remember begging to borrow as a grade-schooler, completely changed the dynamic I had with these objects. Instead of bursting into tears at the sight of them, I was laughing as I remembered moments and stories.

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Q: What was your families response to the work?

A: I was nervous that the series might upset my dad in some way, but both he and extended family members have been nothing but thrilled about it. My dad refused to hold a traditional funeral service because he and I believe you should celebrate a life, not mourn it. I’m sure this body of work falls in line with that concept.

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Q: How did you decide what camera to use?

A: I normally shoot with a Mamiya 645 or a Canon 7D, but the idea of hauling out the big guns and setting up seamless backdrops to shoot the objects felt too somber or intense. I used my iPhone, and cleared a space off my TV stand as a makeshift studio. I dangled a living room lamp over the objects for lighting with one hand, and shot with the other.

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Q: Do you think your mother’s passing will inform your work for a long time to come?

A: I’d say that it already has. A month after she died I left for a previously booked trip to Florida to continue shooting a work in progress. It was one of the most difficult choices I’ve ever had to make, but I was adamant about not canceling. I figured that throwing myself into a creative endeavor would help, and it truly did.

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Q: Any plans for an exhibition or book featuring this work?

A: A few images from “Left Behind” were exhibited in Brooklyn this past May in a group show curated by Ruben Natal-San Miguel at the Fuchs Projects, but I hope to find an opportunity to exhibit the complete series at some point.

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Q: What are you working on now?

A: “Gyrle” is about a transgender woman named Lorelei whom I met while we were (opposite-sex) teenagers at the nontraditional summer camp we both attended. The sensitive nature of this particular series excites me because it could potentially push the boundaries of what people have seen or experienced in images of transgender bodies, largely thanks to the unfiltered access Lorelei has given me. Despite not having seen or spoken to each other in 20 years, one of the first things I asked her was if she would pose for a nude portrait. She agreed immediately. We’ve joked that her former youthful crush on me means I could suggest setting her on fire and she’d probably agree to it. If there are any pyrotechnics experts reading this, please get in touch .…

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Links for Jennifer Loeber:   Website  |  Instagram

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barbara.davidson@latimes.com

Instagram | Twitter

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