Maria Qamar is a first-generation Canadian from a traditional South Asian family; her mother is Indian, her father Bangladeshi. She moved to Canada at the age of nine in 2001 and was forced to endure bullying and racism as a young girl in a post 9/11 world. She later recalled, “I started going home and drawing comics about these experiences.”
Qamar found her artistic voice five years ago through Instagram under the name @Hatecopy where her illustrations resonated with the Desi community, particularly the second generation. Art became a means for her to handle realities of being brown and South Asian in the early 2000s North American context. Qamar’s Bollywood-beautiful women paintings with ironic cartoon speech bubbles speak to the trail and tribulations of 21st-century Desi life and the challenges of being a South Asian millennial.
On August 1, 2019, Maria Qamar broke into the New York art world with her first U.S. solo exhibition FRAAAANDSHIP! at RICHARD TAITTINGER GALLERY, which received great press acclaim by The New York Times, Forbes, Vice, TimeOut New York, and Artnet News. In December 2019, Qamar exhibited in Europe for the first time presenting the solo exhibition FIGHT BETI, FIGHT! at Phillips Paris. Her work is collected by Mindy Kaling and was featured on The Mindy Project. She is also the author of the book Trust No Aunty published in 2017. Her artwork has been shown in the AGO in Toronto, Mumbai Comicon, and the Oxo Tower Wharf in London, England. She has been featured on NPR, CBC, HarpersBAZAAR.com, in The Toronto Star, and Elle.
Maria currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.More