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Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders


 Opalka Gallery, Albany NY, September 8, 2016
Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders
August 23 - October 9, 2016

Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 8, 6-8 pm
Artist Lecture, 5 pm

Curator's tour:
September 29, 5:30 pm

Films:
September 15 & 19, 6:30 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 8, 2016) - Siona Benjamin's boldly colorful work reflects her transition between worlds as she attempts to create a dialogue between the ancient and the modern. Originally from Mumbai, now living in the US, Benjamin holds MFA degrees in both painting and theater set design. Her multimedia work reflects her background as a Jewish Indian woman raised in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India and educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools. Inspired by traditions as diverse as Indian miniature painting, Byzantine icons, illuminated manuscripts, and American Pop Art, she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic that includes cultural, religious, and feminist narratives.

Featuring over 80 works, this survey will include examples from her early series, Finding Home, begun in the 90s, on up through her current project, Exodus: I See Myself in You, about the struggles of Syrian refugees. Her heritage informs her practice; she weaves themes of identity, place, and belonging into everything she does. Many of her figures, such as the female characters in Finding Home,have blue skin. It's a color Benjamin says she picked for its neutrality to represent her "skin color as being a Jewish woman of color, of being the other, of being transcultural, of belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time."

The show will also feature an interactive installation, My Magic Carpet, a gold tent 11 feet in diameter into which viewers will be invited to recline. During the exhibit, we'll be screening a double feature of shorts, Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin and Next Year in Bombay about the Bene Israel community in Mumbai, on September 15, andShree 420, a classic Bollywood film on September 29.

The recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, Benjamin has exhibited widely and has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Art in America. For more:www.artsiona.com

Contact:

Amy Griffin
Exhibitions and Public Programs Coordinator

griffa@sage.edu
518-292-8607

Keywords: India, Art Exhibit