25.11.14 by Jeff

Photographer Jessamyn Lovell Had Her Identity Stolen And Got Revenge With An Art Project


In 2011, photographer Jessamyn Lovell was at SF Camerawork, a gallery in San Francisco, discussing a project she was working on when her wallet was stolen. Of course this resulted in a series of unauthorized purchases and theft charges, and left Lovell feeling very angry. So angry in fact that she didn’t simply replace her cards and move on with her life, she actually decided to track down her thief and turn the whole thing into a photo project.

Lovell hired a private investigator named Pete Siragusa who was actually able to locate the scam artist, one Erin Coleen Hart. Lovell never confronted Hart, instead she began following her and photographing her in public places.

“This woman entered my life without my permission,” Lovell says, “and I then used that experience without her permission to create something new.” (source)

Last month, Lovell exhibited 34 images from her photo project “Dear Erin Hart” at SF Camerawork, the same gallery where her wallet was originally stolen. She made a point to mail an invitation to Hart for the opening reception of the show.

Take a look at images from the series below.















Jessamyn Lovell’s Website

Via: San Francisco Chronicle and B/D

Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

  • Joe

    This feels like what Batman would do if he was a photographer.

  • minotaur

    Curious if she attended the opening.

    • No she did not show. I am planning a trip to meet her in person and hand deliver the letter I wrote to her.

      • i would love to know what happens when you finally get to confront her

      • .::Psyched Blog::.

        Hopefully she learned something out of it. Yet, we obviously don’t know her motivation, maybe you’ll get some more answers soon ;) Nice work btw, nice work.

      • Oscar Salas

        instead of the letter I would send her the printed pictures with the Subject : Hi!
        and a happy face XD

      • Carl David Antony Ryder

        I’d never talk to her I’d turn her into a non entity like she does to others when she steals from them.

      • Rygarr Treuthardt

        Id laugh if she stabs you, leans over you while you bleed out and just smiles. Wouldnt it all be worth it then?

      • Stephen Colon

        Why would you laugh at that? That just sounds unnecessarily violent and callous. That doesn’t sound worth it at all.

      • Pol Subanajouy

        Oh, aren’t we edgy?

  • Well done Jessamyn, creativity overcomes!

  • Sparkleybright

    Be very careful. Remember this woman is a criminal. Not arrested or convicted, but still a criminal.

  • Identy theft was a great movie. i receoment watching

  • IHateFatChicks

    WTF didn’t you pursue charges against her?

    • Mr Marco

      Yeah this story doesnt make sense

  • Bryan Wilson

    This is probably the most asinine method for ‘revenge’. If i take all your money will you just follow me around, taking snap shots like it matters?

    I think you greatly overestimated their level of care, and oversold your version of ‘justice’

  • Mr Marco

    Thats it?

  • dissentist

    Be sure to let us know how it goes, if you’re able to exact enough revenge to feel it was worth not going to the police, or if it turns out the PI was wrong and this lady sues you for libel. If she’s guilty then she is a major scumbag for sure, but if you’re wrong you’re ruining an innocent woman’s reputation.

    Love that we the people complain about our government not respecting the rule of law, while we completely ignore that pesky little bit about “Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law”..

    • variant meme

      The artist did go to the police, Hart was convicted of this among other things and some of the photos were taken on her release from custody. But don’t let that get in the way of a good rant. Run with it!

      • dissentist

        My post was more about respecting the rule of law than if they’re guilty or not. If people don’t think the penalties for these things are harsh enough then petition to have “public shaming” added to the penalty. This is what is supposed to differentiate us from third world nations.

        That said, I obviously think the criminal in this case is a scumbag and I’m glad there was justice served.

    • W. Mfasis

      “Love” it even more when those perched on soap boxes have a difficult time getting down because they inadvertently lodged their own foot in their mouth.

      you had read the associated article before making the “judgement” that
      the artist did not think this through, you would have clearly seen all
      your “Ifs” had been covered and that this issue found resolution over
      three years ago.

      The feeling of having something stolen/taken from you is a deeply helpless one, at least in my experience.

      think “revenge” in this post title is a little surface, clearly the Law
      brought the real repercussions. As far as I read, Jessamyn was clearly
      affected by this experience, and as an artist she chose a constructive
      way to deal with it. I really do hope the letter is finally read, who knows, the message might actually provide some healing for Erin Hart as well.

      Safe travels and good luck Jessamyn.

      • dissentist

        If you want the punishment for a crime to include a public shaming then you petition to have it added to the laws. If you don’t and decide to take it upon yourself you’re no better than a vigilante mob video from Somalia. It’s that simple, and the fact that so few understand that is a sad commentary on America, where we talk big about how much better we are because of “The rule of law” but then disregard it when it “feels good”.

        I don’t condone or support what this criminal did in any way, I support the ideals that made America “The greatest nation on earth”.

    • MarioOrazioDario

      You have made an intelligent point!

  • MarioOrazioDario

    Wow, Laurel is awesome! What an inspirational idea!

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