Artist Statement

How is the City your studio? "I believe that artisanship and entrepreneurship are present in all individuals and communities. Play and art-making are rarely afforded opportunities formally and yet omnipresent informally. Every day aspects of life: from reinterpreting family recipes to the bee-like dance of community dynamics -- they are all replete with abundant creativity and careful curation. They are also avenues for healing, wellness, and progress. Drawing upon the innate human impulse for creative survival, I meld design, popular education, law, and art-making as powerful conduits for community empowerment and social change."

Featured Artist Portrait by Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Chicago

My art is bursting with controlled chaos in tropical colors and contained by meticulously geometric patterns. It is hopeful and disheartened. It is place-making amidst displacement. It’s about bridging chasms and building communities. It is both "cultural metissage" and "third-space" homage. It is influenced by Indian, Islamic, and African patterns, textures, inter-generational memories, post-Colonial realities, and visual recollections. It is seeing opportunity and beauty in people, in places, and in spaces that society disregards. My art is about imaginary pasts and imagined futures. Rupture and healing. Connecting people, ideas, and communities to render oblique systems transparent.
I am constantly inspired by the creativity and resilience of everyday people. Lately, I've been photographing examples of micro-enterprise across the breadth and depth of Chicago's neighborhoods -- from Shea butter to aromatic oils to food carts. I recently saw an entire collection of hand-made jewelry exhibited in the back of a woman's van. I am fascinated -- and inspired -- by ingenuity, adaptation, and re-use. I am also influenced by contradictions and critical tensions. We live in a moment of unprecedented connectivity and technological advancement, tremendous progress, and also profound suffering.
What is next?
"A(mended) finding(s)" will involve participants mending broken jewelry as an exploration of laws impacting women’s health. Jewelry is simultaneously totemistic, deeply gendered, fiscally laden, and an individualized aesthetic expression. “Findings” are ostensibly neutral objects of connection and closure used when creating or repairing jewelry. In the legal context, there is a complex interplay between "Findings" of fact and "Conclusions" of law. Yet, the ways in which "facts" are ascertained, described, and evaluated are all fraught with subjectivity. This project is inspired by an infamous case impacting an Indian-American woman-- which was an (im)perfect maelstrom of gender, culture, & laws.
I am a Chicago-based attorney, artist, and "Creative". I am a curator of unexpected relationships, events, and collaborations. I also draw, write, and take photographs. I founded Project Prospera, a collective of attorneys, artists, designers, and technologists as an interdisciplinary, celebratory space. My own history spans multiple continents and languages. I am also honored to have worked with immigrants and refugees from every corner of the world. These experiences -- of migration, dislocation, recalibration, and resilience -- shape my passion for justice and my desire to pursue transformative linkages between people, ideas, and issues.