After coming across an extensive family photo album filled with photographs of her late mother, photographer Naomieh Jovin ’17 realized she’d found a new lens for her art practice.
Initially inspired by portrait and fashion photographers like Richard Avedon, Jovin became fascinated with the art of conceptual photography during her time at Moore, as well as the feminist literature of bell hooks. Her photography evolved to incorporate her mother’s personal history and her own experience of discovering these meaningful family photographs, often through the vulnerability of nude portraiture with subjects surrounded in bold colors, patterns and interiors.
“My interest has a lot to do with keeping these stories alive. I’m trying to keep my mother’s story alive,” Jovin said. “My work became something that was therapeutic to me, to understand why I was the way that I was.”
Since graduating from Moore in December 2017 with a major in Photography & Digital Arts, Jovin has kept busy with freelance photography work, including projects with the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. Her photography was on display in the In Conversation: Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia from September 2019 to March 2020. She has also spent the past two years incubating ideas for future photography collections, and is excited to generate new work for the upcoming alumni exhibition in The Galleries at Moore.
“When I first saw myself in a gallery, I felt like I didn’t belong,” Jovin said, “like I was just looking on as an outsider. And now, as an alum, getting to know [the Galleries staff] is really cool. They look out for you. They literally care about your work.”
Jovin is one of six alumni whose artistic practices explore themes of “place” at the Here & There: Alumni Invitational Exhibition, opening in January 2020. She’ll be showing seven new photographs that position the body in unfamiliar settings.