Radio Juxtapoz ep 050: Maria Qamar on the Boldness of 21st Century Desi Culture
2020 has quashed a lot of celebrations, so humor us as we jubilate a couple of milestones. Not only has Radio Juxtapoz rolled out its 50th episode, but it has occasioned our first trip up north to the genial folks of Toronto, Canada and our guest this week, Maria Qamar, aka Hatecopy. To call us mega-fans of the Toronto-based author and artist is an understatement. That Qamar has taken the comic book cel and transformed it into a bold, Bollywood styled, funny and honest portrayal of Desi culture in the 21st century makes her a most salient voice in contemporary art.
Subscribe to the Radio Juxtapoz podcast HERE.
As she "virtually" opened her newest solo show, ME, MERASELF & I,, with Richard Taittinger in NYC this summer, we decided to make that trek to Toronto and discuss a wide-range of topics with the painter, from her career in marketing and advertising, to her first forays into painting, and especially, how growing up in a post 9/11 Canadian suburb helped shape the content she makes today. Born in Karachi, Pakistan to a Bangladeshi father and Indian mother, Qamar offers a modern view of Desi culture, as well as a current look at immigration from Asia to North America. By using the comic book style, she portrays personal stories and overarching narratives of contemporary life in Toronto, one of the most diverse, cosmopolitan cities in the world. By mixing the aesthetics of Roy Lichtenstein paintings and what she has called Indian soap opera style dialogue, her works engage and “animate” a new generation of South Asia artists to the forefront of the contemporary art landscape. And there may a K-Pop fan account, a food blog and a best friend call-out in this podcast...
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 050 was recorded via Skype from San Francisco/London/Toronto, July 21, 2020. Follow Maria Qamar at @hatecopy