Rina Banerjee

Rina Banerjee (Bron in 1963) is a Manhattan-based artist. Banerjee’s work has been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and other notable museums. In 1963, Banerjee was born in a Bengali Hindu Kulin Brahmin family in Calcutta in the Indian state of West Bengal. She grew up in London and New York, and has lived in the United States ever since. Banerjee has mentioned in interviews that the inspiration for her art comes from her childhood memories of visiting her grandfather during his homeopathic treatments. Many of the images and visuals from her visits with her grandfather have stayed with her and can be seen in her art work. She likes her artwork to be not static, but ever changing. She has an MFA in Painting and Print Making from Yale School of Art, Yale University. Banerjee’s bachelor’s degree was in Polymer Engineering, graduating in 1993 from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio.

“‘Where the Wild Things Are’… is no place at all and all places that cannot be lived in but visited, realized out of our careful, playful and tenacious tourism of others, realized as our mobility wanders too far”, Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin (2007)

“Forever Foreign”, Haunch of Venison, London (2010) – Banerjee’s first solo show in the UK.

“Chimeras of India and the West”, Musée Guimet, Paris (2011)
“Migrations Breath”, OTA Fine Arts, Gillman Barracks, Singapore. Colorful yet suggestive pieces of art, which seem to change with different angles or positions. She uses many objects in her works such as Indian sarees, glass bottles, and seashells. Critics have suggested that some of the names of Banerjee’s artwork carry sexual implications. For example, the piece “She Drew A Premature Prick” and many of the pieces have been suggested to represent reproductive organs. Banerjee has said that she enjoys the way that artwork can be fluid and how one’s perspective could change with something so simple as wind blowing.

“Admit One”, Debs and Company, Chelsea. Banerjee uses Asian and Western materials. The exhibit has plastic tubing that runs along the walls and ending which end with rotten-looking fruit and leaves. The plants in the show represent tropical plants that were taken by western settlers to bring to other countries; some of the plants didn’t translate well to other land while some blossomed. The room is also filled with a thick webbing which is meant to represent a digestive system, and within the system colorful ritual powder and spices are captured.

“Disgust”, LA Louvre. Her four sculptures in this show are made from an uncountable number of small objects that are wired and strung together. She uses cowry shells, rooster feathers, gourds, horns, glass vials, silk, and many other objects. Her sculptures could be either human or animal, still life or moving. It seems as though Banerjee does not look through junk to find materials for her art but instead will selectively chose what she wants by ordering her materials off of specialty sites. This selective process she uses emphasizes the global culture of her art, and how she has many different pieces from all over the world, all of which form one cohesive work of art.