Spotlight Artist: Maria Khan

Maria Khan is a 2009 graduate from the National College of Arts, Lahore’s College of Art & Design. Apart from pursuing painting as her major, she minored in printmaking, sculpture and photography. She earned herself a distinction in 2009 and won the ‘Best Painting Award 2010’ conferred by the Alhamra Art Council in Lahore. Since 2006, she has successfully exhibited her work in eight group exhibits. In this short Q&A, TMS Creative Director sits down to have a private chat about her work and the inspiration behind it.


Have you always known you wanted to be a painter?
Yes, I knew I wanted to be an artist. That’s what I was always interested in. When I was younger (and just like every kid out there!), I used to draw a lot of yellow houses, pink swans and red skies.

Why NCA (National College of Arts)?
I chose NCA because it is the best art college and it has a history of producing some of the best artists in Pakistan.

How has your family been about your decision to pursue art?
My family was very supportive since they believed that this art course was for girls and that we’d be taught how to paint pretty pictures.
Where does your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration directly from cartoons, bed time stories, poems and proverbs.

Are there any painters in particular that you greatly admire?
Yes, definitely. In Pakistan I really look upto Ali Azmat who taught me how to paint and how to look at colors and basic education. Besides him, the Chinese artist, Yue Minjun is someone I greatly admire and Paula Rego as well.

How would you describe your work in your own words?
I think it’s very tough to describe one’s work, at least for me. But I think my work revolves around the idea of distortions, abnormalities, bizarre situations, heaviness and helplessness.