By: Heather Zises
August 22, 2019
Currently disrupting the white walls at Richard Taittinger Gallery is Fraaaandship!, Desi-Pop artist Maria Qamar’s inaugural solo show in New York City. Playful and bright, the exhibition (which runs from August 1 to October 6), features colorful works that examine Indian culture, patriarchy and feminism with a fresh voice.
Influenced by Pop artists like Roy Lichentstein and Andy Warhol, Qamar renders raven-haired, purple-skinned women with graphic novel-style speech bubbles set against red or yellow backgrounds. Laced with “Hinglish”, contemporary female figures espouse defiant messages that push back against normative white western hegemonic culture. Offbeat soft sculptures such as a giant lota (a pitcher South Asians use as a bidet) with “Shit Happens” plastered in bold lettering, samosa bean bags chairs and shiny gold Maggi noodle balloons each embody candy-colored themes of sexism, cultural stereotypes, racism and trauma.
Bolstered by a large (180k!) group of Instagram followers, which includes art critic Roberta Smith, Mindy Kaling and The New York Times, Qamar has steadily created a new world of online art with the handle @hatecopy. In an effort to bring the artist’s online Instagram community to the physical artworld, Richard Taittinger Gallery provides a platform in which art lovers can experience works IRL while bridging the gap between analog and digital.