Jessamyn Lovell

Self-Portrait in Blonde Wig, 2007

Jessamyn Lovell (b. 1977, Syracuse, NY) is a conceptual artist working with photography, video, performance, and surveillance contemplating class and personal identity. Lovell holds a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MFA from California College of the Arts.

She is based in Albuquerque, NM where she is currently a Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Director of the Art Department at the University of New Mexico. Lovell is a founding member and activist leader in the United Academics of the University of New Mexico, the institution’s new faculty union and a licensed and practicing private investigator.

Lovell has received international recognition for her artwork including Dear Erin Hart, for which she found, followed and photographed her identity thief. She received her private investigator’s license in 2017 for D.I.Y. P.I. (Do It Yourself Private Investigation), a long-term conceptual art piece. 

Self Portrait Mirror, 2017 Self-portrait taken on surveillance, from Do It Yourself Private Investigation (2016-current), 50″x70” archival inkjet print
Self-portrait taken on surveillance, from No Trespassing, (2007-2009), 40×70” archival inkjet print
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  1. […] Jessamyn Lovell spoke to us from New Mexico. Her work, Dear Erin Hart, began when she was travelling to install a show about her estranged father who she followed and photographed in the method of paparazzi. During this time, her wallet was stolen from the gallery. She went through the process of getting her license and other items replaced but a while later, Lovell received a call from an investigator asking if she knew a woman named Erin Hart and whether she had given her permission to use her drivers license. Lovell began trying to track down Erin Hart in the same way she found her father. Although it had been easy to located and track her father, Ms. Hart proved more skilled at evading being found. With Lovell’s drivers license, Ms. Hart did things like rent a car with someone else’s credit card. She subsequently got all manner of parking tickets and damages that fell on Lovell’s shoulders. Ms. Hart also tried unsuccessfully to check into a very fancy hotel as well as incurred charges in a Whole Foods in Lovell’s former neighborhood. Lovell is quick to acknowledge that her privilege as a white woman of means allowed her to get out of the many charges that Ms. Hart racked up. To hear what Lovell, who is now a licensed, practicing investigator, did next, listen to the complete interview. […]

  2. […] Jessamyn Lovell spoke to us from New Mexico. Her work, Dear Erin Hart, began when she was travelling to install a show about her estranged father who she followed and photographed in the method of paparazzi. During this time, her wallet was stolen from the gallery. She went through the process of getting her license and other items replaced but a while later, Lovell received a call from an investigator asking if she knew a woman named Erin Hart and whether she had given her permission to use her drivers license. Lovell began trying to track down Erin Hart in the same way she found her father. Although it had been easy to located and track her father, Ms. Hart proved more skilled at evading being found. With Lovell’s drivers license, Ms. Hart did things like rent a car with someone else’s credit card. She subsequently got all manner of parking tickets and damages that fell on Lovell’s shoulders. Ms. Hart also tried unsuccessfully to check into a very fancy hotel as well as incurred charges in a Whole Foods in Lovell’s former neighborhood. Lovell is quick to acknowledge that her privilege as a white woman of means allowed her to get out of the many charges that Ms. Hart racked up. To hear what Lovell, who is now a licensed, practicing investigator, did next, listen to the complete interview. […]