Rina Banerjee, ‘Take me, take me...’, 2003, Hosfelt Gallery

This sculpture takes its form from the Taj Mahal. Often cited as the most beautiful building in the world, it is the epitome of Mughal architecture - an amalgam of elements of Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian styles - a design hybrid born of two thousand years of incursions, migrations, invasions and colonization. The Taj Mahal is also the world's most famous monument to romantic love - a lavish and unabashed public display of affection.

Banerjee's palace is rendered in pink plastic rather than white marble. It's decorated with fake pearls, cowrie shells and florist's moss rather than jade, turquoise and carnelian. A marriage of high and low culture, it is a mutation - emblematic of a world constantly in flux - of societies continuously reshaping their belief systems. It is a refusal to make judgments based on traditional notions of beauty, importance, worth or usefulness. For the first time in history, Banerjee argues, humanity has an opportunity to consider love outside concerns of reproduction or patrimony and beyond issues of race, gender or religion. This exhibition is a tender tribute to the emergence of love for the sake of love.

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