Indian Art Exhibition
Artist Maria Qamar, or her stage name Hatecopy, has been on the rise as the uniqueness of her art brightened the Indian community and provided a shared space for Indians growing up in this generation. While she has many ongoing projects, her fans await her galleries. Various cultural influences of her life heavily form Maria’s art as she was raised in Canada and born in Pakistan to an Indian mother and a father from Bangladesh (bonappetit.com). While her content reaches many different communities and cultures, the South-Asian community can relate to the dialects and culture tones of the art that she creates.
The role that culture holds in her life pushes the motivation and content in her art. Her style is contemporary, however it’s relatable to many generations. While she uses a lot of colors and electricity to illuminate her art, the main features of her pieces are what’s written in Hindi on them. The majority of her work takes the form of sculptures, paintings, or graphic arts, but the digital platform has had an impact on Maria’s career as she states that “It’s helped to form a community around my work that felt comfortable opening up with other members of the South Asian diaspora. It also helped to shape by confidence and to pay forward to the younger generation of Southeast Asian artists looking to branch out into similar avenues” (phillips.com). Not only this but her art also approaches social issues that minorities face within the Desi community regarding stereotypes of gender identity and sexuality, race and ethnicity, culture, and mental and physical health. Her work also touches on family dynamics and how they are shifting with the newer generation as old-school thought shifts outward and themes of empowerment and inclusivity come forth.
Qamar held a show, titled “Fraaaandship!” at the Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York City the summer of 2019. This was her first solo show that exhibited sculptures, paintings, and prints. Given that the majority of her art is sold through her website and published on digital mediums, being able to see the art in real life created an interactive experience in which we could see the details and effort put into perfecting each painting. Qamar’s progression from casing her art in a digital perspective to a physical also creates for a viewer to enjoy the ambience, environment, and energy of the artist which gives more insight on how the artist visualizes their own art.
When going to the exhibition, Maria was there and it was apparent how proud she was to be there. A sense of accomplishment of reaching and creating a community was noted. As a viewer and being Indian, going to her exhibition was a first-time experience seeing modern art that I could directly relate to through my own culture. Even being able to witness Hindi being used in a piece of art, was comforting. It brought back memories growing up being a minority and being the only one who knew my language. But to now see it huge depictions of my and for other people to also relate to the content, was an amazing experience.
Maria mentions that her inspiration is the younger generation, driving social change and pushing towards inclusivity (theartgorgeous.com). The experience within her solo exhibition showed me that Qamar’s art goes beyond the digital, and these are skills that she can express in any medium. Additionally, it emphasizes how art can hold inspiration for budding artists within and outside of the community. Experiencing Maria’s art in a live exhibition medium was a humbling experience that expanded a greater community.
“Artist Interview: Maria Qamar.” Phillips,
Eazel. “Exhibitions beyond Limits.” Eazel, eazel.net/magazine/82.
“FRAAANDSHIP!” Richard Taittinger Gallery,
“Maria Qamar’s Latest Solo Show, Me Meraself and I, Opens Virtually in New York.”
TheArtGorgeous, 23 July 2020, theartgorgeous.com/maria-qamars-latest-solo-show-me-meraself-and-i-opens-virtually-in-new-york/.
Krishna, Priya. “Maria Qamar Is the Woman Behind the Art at Our Favorite Indian Restaurants.”
Bon Appétit, Bon Appétit, 8 July 2019, www.bonappetit.com/story/maria-qamar.
Photos Source: richardtaittinger.com
Hello! I’m Pooja Dhar, a senior at Pace University and I’m pursuing a degree in economics and a minor in psychology. I was born in India and raised in Minnesota. Growing up as a minority in Minnesota there weren’t a lot of things people I could relate to culturally or religiously. However, being that culture and ethnicity are really important to me I wanted to find more to relate to as I went to college. Doing so, I discovered Maria Qamar (Hatecopy). She creates various mediums of art that reach out to many different cultures and communities but specifically resonate with the Southeast-Asian Desi community. Given that her first solo show was opening in New York City two summers ago, I wanted the opportunity to be able to see her art and a physical medium and experience her showcasing.