My father’s vintage pocket-sized Quran
This tiny Quran belonged to my father. He died when I was 2, and my mother gave it to me along with a bag of his important belongings and papers when I was old enough to be trusted with it. It’s really old and seems to have been handled with a lot of care, so I’m assuming it’s an item that’s been passed down through generations. I keep it dear as I don’t have many other possessions from my father or my Persian family.
Cover of the NY Times Art section
When the NYT journalist contacted me to write a story about my work, I admit that I was pretty hesitant to agree. I was going to Atlanta to do work around Stop Telling Women to Smile. The NYT writer wanted to come with me to cover the project and I was worried about how she might write about it. But then this came out. Top of the fold cover story in the Arts section. The article turned out well, and I consider it a pretty cool recognition.
I found this coat in a thrift store in Los Angeles and fell in love. I’m not a huge fashion person. I try to find a few solid, staple pieces that I really love, filling in the rest of my wardrobe with basics. This coat has this really interesting shape and draping. I didn’t want to take it off when I tried it on, so I thought that was a good reason to buy it, even though it was little expensive.Shop Now$250+
The Block by Herb Goro
My high school art teacher let me borrow this book and I never gave it back (sorry, Mrs. Calhoun). It’s old and beat up now but I still look at it sometimes. The book features photographs of residents of a Bronx slum in the 70’s. Really beautiful photos that humanize the subject. Accompanying the photos are are narratives told by the subjects about their lives. I think the work I’m currently doing models this by telling the stories of individuals through portraiture while also making space for their own words to be heard.
Tattoo on my forearm by Amanda Wachob
I’ve been a fan of Amanda’s work since I first came across it online years ago. Last year I reached out to her via email just as an introduction and to let her know I admire her work. She invited me to visit her studio and that day we discussed a potential tattoo and scheduled appointments for me to come back. She’s so talented and has been doing some really cool things lately with tattooing on unconventional objects.Book Now$100+
Male Tears Coffee Mug
This mug is hilarious to me. Someone attempted to challenge me on this mug in the comments of one of my Instagram photos by saying that things like this give feminism a bad name. I get it. And maybe it does…for her. But as a someone who makes feminist public artwork, sometimes you have to mock and laugh at the ridiculous defenses, usually based in male privilege that a lot of men pull when they are confronted with gender inequalities. Plus, drinking a cup of Male Tears each morning keeps my teeth white.Buy Now$12.99
My bike’s name is Eartha Kitt. While she looks cool, I mostly care about the functionality. Riding a bike means inadvertent exercise and saving money on your Metro card.Shop Now$100+
STWTS Tote Bag
When Stop Telling Women to Smile first started getting attention, people requested merch, so I began designing t-shirts and tote bags. I’m sometimes asked if carrying this elicits more harassment. It has not, in my experience. I usually get compliments, or folks will recognize that it’s my project and talk to me about it. I carry it pretty often.