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Aug 13, 2015 12:16PM

Inside Jessica Yatrofsky's Intimate Photobook 'I Heart Girl' [NSFW]

Body party.

Jessica Yatrofsky is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose latest work is a study of the body, androgyny and gender identity. The series of intimate portraits have been compiled in a book called I Heart Girl that features women in various states of undress. Sometimes solo, sometimes in pairs, Jessica captures her subjects in a way that's completely free of the hyper-sexualised filter often applied to the female form.

Having previously released a photobook called I Heart Boy, which focused on male subjects, this new work showcases women in a way that feels natural amd affectionate. We wanted to know more about this series, so we asked Jessica to answer some questions and here's what she said.

Name: Jessica Yatrofsky

Nickname?
Jess by very close friends and Jessie by my family.

Where's home? 
Brooklyn, NY.

What were you into in high school?
Painting and drawing (and physics!). I went through a long phase that lasted through college where I pursued both science and art with equal passion, art won in the end, naturally.

In what ways have you changed since then?
My art practice is more focused on making films and photographs now, then on some of the applied arts I used to study. 

What inspired you to create I Heart Girl?
I consider I Heart Girl as the "sister" project to the I Heart Boy series. While I think both series can stand alone, I think of them as the same series in that they explore the body and male/female androgyny and gender identity. The inspiration behind creating both series can from an interest in capturing friends, men and women, living in Brooklyn and living what some may consider an "alternative" lifestyle. I wanted to represent what I see to be the current image through straight forward portraits of subjects to intimate portrayals of couples. 

If you had to describe your artistic output in five words, what would you call it?
Allow me to offer this instead

Who inspires you?
My parents.

What scares you most? 
Ski lifts. 

What was the process of shooting this series like?
I shot this series much like I shoot most of my personal projects, mainly in my home and in my studio in Brooklyn, occasionally in a subject's home. I re-photographed many of my friends for this project and collected new subjects from referrals. I always ask around to see if anyone knows any interesting subjects to shoot, whether it's for a new project or just for my personal work. I enjoy the process. I spent some time on this series sifting through emails from subjects who wanted to be photographed for the project who were recommended by friends. 

What fictional character do you most relate to, and why?
Probably Goldielocks... I'm always on a mission to find the "just right" in life. My friends and family tease me about this constant pursuit for comfort! 

What celebrity do you have a crush on?
Willem Dafoe.

Best YouTube clip you've ever seen?
I'm sharing two:


Which three people (dead or alive) would be your dream party guests?
Björk, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and my Uncle. 

It's been five years since I Heart Boy came out, how has your work grown or changed since then?
I feel like my process is still evolving as I continue to focus on work that deals with the body and portraiture. However, I find myself making films a lot more, as I explore both body politics and intimacy. I'm interested in the cross pollination that happens between my film and photography, the two enhance each other in a way that both the ideas and the content blend well. 

What's on rotation on your iTunes/Spotify at the moment?
Let me start by saying that I mostly listen to audio books. I do, however, have an amazing recollection of 90s R&B and will challenge anyone to a game of trivia on the subject.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Well-rested and ready for action! 

Whose work do you admire, who's doing cool things atm?
I saw a film this year that has stuck in my mind called Under the Skin, which was exquisitely acted and written, and was also shot equally as beautifully by a director named Jonathan Glazer. I draw most of my inspiration from films and I have always been a huge admirer of the French director Catherine Breillat, she is fearless and deeply talented.

Will you send us a selfie?

jessica-yatrofsky.jpg

I Heart Girl is available for pre-order here

Photos: Jessica Yatrofsky

Nadia Bailey