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NY gallery showcases Maria Qamar’s “Bloody Phool”

The exhibition portrays the distinction between experiences of women in Bollywood and real life.

Maria Qamar (Image - Richard Taittinger Gallery)

New York’s Richard Taittinger Gallery will exhibit works of Indian-origin artist Maria Qamar, through a solo show titled, ‘Bloody Phool,’ which translates in Hindi as ‘Bloody Flower’ and phonetically in English as ‘Bloody Fool.’ It is on display from May 03 through May 28.

The exhibition which focuses on betrayal, female rage, PTSD, and psychedelics has Qamar examining the idealized portrayal of womanhood in Bollywood as well as the imposed role of female characters. Her works draw strength from her South Asian heritage, Bollywood, traditional stereotypes and her growing up in the US.

"Bloody Phool" solo exhibition to be on display from May 3 through May 28 (Image - Richard Taittinger Gallery)

Drawing inspiration from her background and early upbringing, Qamar develops knowledge and understanding of the multifaceted representation of women and sexuality in Indian art forms. The pairing of her artwork with Bollywood imagery demonstrates the conflict between imagination and reality.

Born in 1991 to a Bangladeshi father and an Indian mother she relocated with her family to Toronto, Canada, just before entering her teen years, when she endured constant bullying in the wake of 9/11. A sensation on Instagram, her book "TRUST NO AUNTY" gave her a career breakthrough in 2017.

With her first actual solo exhibition "FRAAAANDSHIP!" at Richard Taittinger Gallery in August 2019, Qamar made her debut in the New York art scene. Over 4,000 people attended the opening night. According to Alisha Gupta of the New York Times, Qamar's debut performance was like a "Colorful, Politically Engaged Instagram feed brought to Life."

With the knowledge gained from collaborations with artists like Shepard Fairey, Jingyi Wang, and others, Qamar has continued to establish her reputation and shown her style is in great demand and here to stay. Qamar has shown that there is interest in her distinctive interpretation of South Asian traditions and art forms by attracting the attention of artists and celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Naomi Osaka. While retaining her Desi roots, fun colours, and pop-grotesque vibe, she has improved her work and notoriety.