With Pop Furniture Artist Maria Iqbal.

  • 14 May '13
  • 4:00 am by Crew
Blink, Pop Chair

We caught up with Maria Iqbal, Pop furniture artist. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan and raised in the UAE, Maria uses her art to create one of a kind hand painted furniture. Having worked as an Art Director at an Advertising firm for 10 years, she came back to Dubai to pursue her style of art. We love her sense of pop. The colors are vibrant and the forms even more exciting. The mundane piece suddenly gets a whole lot of personality. So trade in that boring desk or dressing table chair in your room to something thats say You!
We caught up with her and this is what she had to say –

1. What made you decide to create furniture into art pieces?
Art transcends form. Taking it from canvass to beyond felt natural. I love being at home and doodling on my surroundings, it felt fun and a bit naughty. Then it took a life of its own.

2. What inspires you when creating the furniture?
The inspiration comes from the inherent shape of an existing piece or when I’m making a piece from scratch its usually a concept from a given brief or sparked by my own experiences, usually Pop culture.

3. You’ve said earlier Bollywood has inspired you. Which aspect of it do you transcend into your work?
I was raised on Bollywood in Dubai. My sister and I, after watching a movie, would then sketch all the clothes and decide amongst ourselves who it belonged to. So she’d get one outfit and I’d get another. I don’t borrow directly from the song and dance sequences or the romance and drama but the fantasy is what influences me. Same goes for Kawaii (Japan), Manga, and fairytales. The perception is reality and the rabbit hole is what I’m constantly seeking.

4. How do you customize the pieces? What do clients request for? 
It varies from piece to piece. Sometimes a client gives me their furniture to transform and other times they commission from scratch.  I usually get full liberty to do what I want. A piece is sometimes customized according to the personality of the client for example a chair that represents them. A fun project was making a full dining set with each chair being different and representing a member of the family. I’m the enemy of uniformity so the clients that come to me can afford to be quirky and not afraid to push the boundaries.

5. What has been the most exciting reaction from a client after seeing the finished piece?
One couldn’t believe the extreme makeover to their vanity. They were convinced it was the not the same piece and kept examining it.

6. Your go to for art information (which magazine / website / books)?
I’m a voracious reader so hungertv, pinterest, coolhunter, behance, chicquero, fffound, too many to name really

7. What plans moving forward with the pieces?
I am evolving into accessories and fashion. Expect a lot from me, coming soon.

8. Do we see you showcasing in India anytime soon? 
I’d love to. Maybe next year. I visit quite often and very open to taking commissions and making the pieces while there as well.

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