Tyler (they/them) is a visual artist whose interdisciplinary practice emphasizes in fashion-oriented photography and design. Born and raised in the American midwest, their unique perspective is shaped by days spent in the Arkansas heat reading through their favorite fashion publications. With a do-it-yourself mentality, Tyler stands in as the model, photographer, and designer to their own self-directed vignettes.

sAY_yOur_ PrAYerS_+

Say Your Prayers is a project that works to explore the intersections between religious doctrine and homosexuality. As the gay son to a Southern Baptist mother (American) and a Muslim father (Iranian), I wasn’t particularly brought up in an environment that facilitated a smooth transition for me as I came into my own. Growing up, their allegiance to religious doctrine instituted homophobia as household law. The environment this fostered in combination with the social climate of small-town Arkansas forced me to internalize self-hatred as apart of my nature. At a young age I was forced to believe that being queer was the worst thing I could be; a sin so grave that it was grounds for damnation — not the most comforting thing to hear while you’re playing with your sister’s barbies. With this project, I want to turn this ideology on its head. As the majority of homophobic individuals justify their beliefs with religious doctrine, I have found interest in putting the two in close proximity with one another. By means of placing homoerotic paraphernalia/derogations adjacent to religious iconography, this project works to disrupt the power-dynamic that overwhelmed my youth.

Illustration, Publication Design, Writing Tyler Mazaheri
Image Sources see Page 17