Artist Maria Qamar grew up in Canada, during the 2000s and like many teenagers she had to deal first-hand with the bullying and racism in the post 9/11 world.
Interestingly, Qamar decided to integrate those tensions in her art presented with a lot of humor and insight. Born to an Indian mother and Bangladeshi father, Qamar also imbibed the over-the-top, filmy inspirations that were around her.
Her works continue to draw heavily from her South Asian lineage, Bollywood, traditional stereotypes and growing up desi in America. But despite all of this, her loud, colorful, even boisterous art continues to catch the western interest because of its graphic portrayal of shared human emotions.
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The young artist is back with her solo show at the Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York and the theme of her new show seems to be interspersed with humor, satire and stereotypes. The pop art and color at once seem like a jollification of everything the artist grew up with and continues to get inspired with.
Titled â€œBloody Phoolâ€ which translates in Hindi as â€œBloody Flowerâ€ and phonetically in English as â€œBloody Fool.â€ This exhibit primarily focuses on betrayal, feminine rage, PTSD, and psychedelics.
For her new solo exhibition, Maria Qamar explores the imposed role of female protagonists in Bollywood traditions, as well as the idealized view of womanhood presented within them.
Drawing inspiration from the Bollywood industry that Qamar grew up on and identifies with, the exhibition showcases collages with various Bollywood DVD covers and posters generously donated by fans.
Building on her heritage and childhood, Qamar explores an awareness and understanding of the complex depiction of femininity and sexuality within Indian art forms.
The inclusion of her works in tandem with Bollywood imagery reveals a tension between the fantasy and the reality. Thus, forming a rift between perceptions of women in relationships and the outcomes of deception and feminine rage.
Each piece tells a different story of deception and lies that Qamar feels her audience can relate to. In typical fashion, she has elected to transform the actual gallery into a completely immersive space that allows the viewer to completely immerse themselves in the rage-fueled narrative of red walls, a color indicative of celebration, violence, or sometimes â€” in Qamarâ€™s words â€” both.
Her work is collected by Mindy Kaling and was featured on The Mindy Project. An Instagram sensation, Qamar is the author of â€˜Trust No Auntyâ€™ published in 2017.
In 2019, she received a breakthrough show at Richard Taittinger Gallery titled â€œFraaandship!â€ Her artwork has been shown at the AGO in Toronto, Mumbai Comicon, and the Oxo Tower Wharf in London, England. She has also been a part of exhibits at Mural Festival, and Saatchi Gallery.
â€œBloody Phoolâ€ is on display at Richard Taittinger Gallery through May 28 at 154 Ludlow Street, New York.