If you hadn't heard the name Maria Iqbal yet, trust us you would have very soon. This Dubai based artist has been creating major creative waves across the UAE and beyond. Born in and educated in the US where she became a successful advertising executive in Chicago, Maria swapped job security for passion when she launched her own business after a year of introspection in India.
Transforming everyday objects into wearable, portable or livable works of art, Maria Iqbal's Lichtenstein-esque creations have proved a hit among creatives and collectors worldwide, gracing many the gloss pages of a top tier fasion magazine. But they are about more than colour-pop pop-culture. Maria's pieces bear a progressive message and bold feminist agenda, delivered in a playful but nonetheless powerful manner
So without further ado, here are five facts about the globe-trotting future doyenne of the international art scene:
1. Marina has applied her art to all manner of surfaces, from interior spaces and tech to fashio and cars; with partnerships incluidng Samsung, Mercedes, Galeries Lafayette and CocoaCola.
2. She has a beautiful work and life mantra, namely; "art is the only language I speak fluently, which brings me harmony even as I break all rules and conventions. Art makes me laugh till I cry, and cry till I wake up and create again."
3. Marina was nominated for the 2014 Emirates Woman of the Year award for her unique contribution to the region's arts and culture scene.
4. In 2016, she was selected to become a part of the elite "SHE'S MERCEDES initiative which promotes and celebrates the success and empowerment of women worldwide.
5. Marina collaborated with Microsoft to create a cutomised abaya which, she wanted "women to feel empowered when they wear; the purpose being strong, expressive and feminine".