In what seemed at first a monster's colonial dream, leprechauns of amber body and agile mind blew west wondering what it would be like to leave land, ocean, bird, bear, feline and the bounty of horned beasts, to leave our nature for culture

Rina Banerjee's conjured cosmos force fabric and fabricated disparate objects to coexist together in a world of fairytales and fantasy. Her fetishistic deference to such diverse materials enchants the eye, inviting us to weave through her compositions. The inclusion of the textile silver wings on the angelic insect exemplifies this attention to fabric and texture, "[...] Banerjee applies the exquisite detail of Indian miniature painting to fantastical scenes that blend mythological imagery from a range of cultural and historical sources." ('50 Next Most Collectible Artists', Art + Auction, June 2012, unpaginated)

This fantastical map of the world is only partially recognizable. With little fealty to conventional cartographies, borders are removed, each nation merges with the other as if a single exotic mythical mass. By inverting the colonial paradigm, Banerjee confronts the legacy of British colonial rule, whereby empires grow exponentially as its denizens accumulate and consume all that they occupy and threads of commerce and consumption spread out across the world in an entangled exchange. Banerjee translates this into this quixotic universe with hybrid anthropomorphic creatures and fairies which enrapture the inverted empire beneath them, subsuming and uniting all nations and species into her fantasy.

Banerjee has been noted as one of the 50 next most collectible artists in Art + Auction alongside Bharti Kher. She participated in the recent exhibition India: Art Now at the Arken Museum, Copenhagen (August 2012 -- January 2013) and she is the only other Indian artist, alongside Dayanita Singh, to show at the Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art, Queensland (December 2012 -- April 2013).

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

About Rina Banerjee

New York–based Indian artist Rina Banerjee's iridescent sculptural installations and dreamy, exotically colored drawings and paintings of birds, beasts, and demigods explore fusions of materials and cultures. Her work typically incorporates a wide range of objects and media, including taxidermy alligators, wooden cots, ostrich eggs, light bulbs, umbrellas, saris, pigments, shells, and feathers. Banerjee has called her practice an examination of diasporas and journeys, “specific colonial moments that reinvent place and identity.” Synthesizing mythology, religion, anthropology, and fairy tales, she is equally informed by Western culture and Eastern tradition, particularly Tibetan, Himalayan, and Indian art.

Indian, b. 1963, Kolkata, India, based in New York, New York

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

2016
20th Anniversary Exhibition, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
2015
Rina Banerjee: Tropical Urban, Jacob Lewis Gallery, New York
2015
Rina Banerjee: Migration's Breath, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
2014
Rina Banerjee: Disgust, L.A. Louver, Venice