By: Jia Wertz
August 16, 2019
Maria Qamar, a Desi-Pop artist who became Instagram-famous for her South Asian art, is hosting her first solo show in New York City at the Richard Taittinger Gallery until September 2nd, a contemporary art gallery that focuses on international artists who are under-represented.
Qamar, who has over 179,000 followers on Instagram, was born in Pakistan and moved to Mississauga, Ontario at the age of nine. Much like many South Asian immigrants, she faced bullying and racism at a young age and struggled to fit in.
But today, that is not the case at all, a line wrapping around the block formed outside the gallery on the Lower East Side as fans and art aficionados waited to get a first look at Qamar’s art in real life. The pieces and the artist they have been admiring over Instagram waiting just through the gallery doors and larger than life — literally — with a giant floor-to-ceiling sized lota (a water jug that’s used as a bidet), looming inside the gallery.
“We were very committed to showing a female artist and Maria’s specific and engaging style was something we knew would be appealing and exciting,” says Jenna Ferrey, Research and Business Development for Richard Taittinger Gallery. “It was so exciting and really wonderful to see how much Maria’s followers and collectors support her. The Desi community has really shown up to celebrate Maria and her work and I think it speaks to the importance of recognizing that everyone needs to be able to see themselves and their community represented in the larger cultural conversation. I am really pleased that Maria has managed to create a space in our gallery that belongs to the Desi community and that her work’s narratives have been able to reach out to and inspire viewers from all backgrounds and from all over the world.”