Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Self Expression Inside and Outside of the Gallery

Artists express more than just their emotions and their creativity through what they create. Many artists use their skills and innate talent to take a stand or to make a statement that people would make people stop and listen to what they have to say. Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is one such artist.

Fazlalizadeh is best known for her street art and the messages she tries to convey with them. In 2012, she began a street art campaign called Stop Telling Women to Smile. This campaign aims to stop sexual harassment of women on the streets. She interviewed a number of women who have experienced being sexually harassed on the streets. From what she gathered from these interviews, she created posters featuring a portrait of a different woman in each of the posters. In some cases, the images are painted directly on the walls. Along with the portrait comes a caption which reflects how these women reacted to the harassment they’ve experienced. These captions come in the form of statements like “Harassing women doesn’t prove your masculinity” or “Women are not outside for your entertainment”. She began the campaign in Brooklyn, New York and was able to raise enough moral and financial support for the project to be able to display these images in other cities all over the United States.

Aside from her anti-sexual harassment campaigns, Fazlalizadeh also uses her art to raise awareness about other issues such as the Get Angry campaign that depicts people standing up for what they believe in. The choice of subject for this particular series of artworks does not reflect her own personal beliefs, rather it is a tribute to the courage of these people to fight for change. She also created some pieces which featured President Barack Obama. These pieces were included in a book edited by artist Shepard Fairey which is called Art For Obama: Designing Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change.

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