The Cheeky Faces collection was inspired by two styles of portraiture and pictorial history in Iran, and is related to different eras of the Safavids (1501–1736) and the Qajars (1785–1925). Qajar was the era of Modernism in Iranian history when photography and photo archiving began.
Iran's earliest realistic images belong to the Qajar era, prior to which there was no accurate way of capturing images. In both the Safavid and Qajar periods, there was an influence of western styles in Persian paintings. Amani attempts to bring westernised influence into his work by using modern pop culture and to challenge it by amplifying its effect. Among these collections are the ‘cheeky’ Safavids, with their long, flowing robes, ornate headdresses and amorous glances. The Qajars, on the other hand, with cropped hair, beauty marks and their signature joined eyebrows are reminiscent of a dark, decaying and depraved Persia on the brink of destruction.