Untamed, 2016, digital print, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 60 x 72 in.
Women of Iran have been veiled, unveiled, and re-veiled as the country has gone through revolutions and regimes. The artwork produced during the Qajar dynasty era (1785-1925) depicts women in the intimate environment of the harem, intoxicated and eroticized. These paintings oddly contradicted Persia’s firmly Islamic society. Through the re-appropriation of these images, I visualize new scenarios and fantasies in which women play prohibited and unusual roles—engaging in sexual affairs with other females and holding weapons. As an Iranian woman who grew up with constrained liberties, it is empowering to create such images that were once predominantly made by men.