Born 1963 in Kolkata, India.
Lives and works in New York City.
In her art practice, Rina Banerjee draws on her multinational background and personal history as an immigrant, focusing on ethnicity, race, migration, and American Diasporic histories. The artist’s sculptures feature a wide range of globally sourced materials, textiles, colonial/historical, and domestic objects. Inspiration for her drawings comes from Indian miniatures, Chinese silk paintings, and Aztec drawings. For Banerjee, her use of materials not only recalls past cultural legacies but also questions the functionality of materials themselves.
Rina Banerjee, The earth as a company grows octopi of tentacles rich on weavers, ancillary craft man, raw materials syphoned into the cities for a final urban display, where mercantile pleasures., 2020, Beads, shells, fabric, metal, mirrors, plastic, thread, 47 x 15.5 x 13.5 in (119.4 x 39.4 x 34.3 cm)
Rina Banerjee, Watering holes could not speak, like elongated wicks, drew from near to far milk and meat, holding food like holding feet from walking free., 2020, Moonstone beads, Czech glass beads, quartz, lava rock, cotton netting, sequin applique, sea conch, snail shells, hand blown glass, Indian brass water head vessel, mohair, 55 x 21 x 23 in (139.7 x 53.3 x 58.4 cm)
Rina Banerjee, When the bottom falls out and the weight of Earth against Us cannot center She will leap to drip drop all eggs black/brown and what not in heaps and dutiful slips leaps over flow. Make green grasses split. swing from hip to hip, catch fire of red twine. things tidy., 2022, Mixed media on paper, 19.625 x 12.875 in (49.85 x 32.7 cm)
Rina Banerjee, Fly me to saddle on Nature’s battles so I may will my arms high as paddles perhaps loose old balance, create a waddle in step to shift to hault marriage markets vulgarity of property contracts like crossfire take casualties of you and me to be buried in law’s riddles., 2022, Mixed media on paper, 19.625 x 12.875 in (49.85 x 32.7 cm)
Rina Banerjee, “Take me I am yours”…said the Worm to her Bird, devotion to surrender, be devoured in pleasure? masculinity, so clever to take what is forever and never hers, her life, her soul delivered by marriage, romance, family to be eaten and beaten., 2022, Mixed media on paper, 19.625 x 12.875 in (49.85 x 32.7 cm)
Rina Banerjee, I am not afraid of you said the Elephant to the Rodent. In connection, recognition, exposed or opposed, out of the glorification of power and powerless grew root a death of all containers that resisted or weeded nature as fruit or female as excess., 2022, Mixed media on paper, 19.625 x 12.875 in (49.85 x 32.7 cm)
Rina Banerjee, Irresistible, irreplaceable Earth, open over interior screams, shouting in folds creased by vapors that thread fire and earth, between ground and sky Masculine Mythologies play upon us heavy heaving as Feminine Escapes embers beneath in exile breathe, 2022, Textiles, seashells, silk thread, copper mesh, plastic mesh, beads, Dimensions variable
Rina Banerjee, Sita, 2022, Textiles, seashells, silk thread, copper mesh, plastic mesh, beads, Dimensions variable
Rina Banerjee, Untitled, 2020, Acrylic, ink and collage on paper, 30 x 22 in
Rina Banerjee, From the series: Beneath the Earth, under the surface value, 2021, Acrylic, ink and collage on paper, 16 x 12 in
Rina Banerjee, Untitled, 2021, Acrylic, ink and collage on paper, 44 x 30 in
Rina Banerjee, A World Lost...after the original island, single land mass fractured, after populations migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, Shiva and Shakti, of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine all water evaporated…this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this, 2013, Black synthetic horns, wire, netting, lightbulbs, scale, ostrich eggs, textiles, cowrie shells, pebbles, coins, feathers, fish vertebrae, greenery, coral, glass birds, miniature human and animal figurines, plastic cups, and red thread, 132 x 234 x 128 in
Rina Banerjee, Sex-bait, in likeness to fish bait to catch her as disloyal, in likeness to Eve, arouse her fear, to create racial panic of blacks jewels like honey to stir and stir poison n' passion, minted lynchings in likeness to money, 2017, Ceramic vintage negro head, Victorian brown bitters bottle, red silk tassels, Murano glass and steel armature, 34 x 23 x 13 in
Rina Banerjee, Jack Fruit Johnny she was a Diasporic Devi who changed her name to taste like honey, changed her faith to sunny, changed sex to something funny, changed her city to New York City - all for reason, to be far, far away, from misery and war and for money, 2015, Cotton thread, paper mache vessal base, steel stand, vintage porcelain doll head, silk fabric with printing, porcupine needles , silver blue leaf, plastic trim, 56 x 18 x 20 in
Rina Banerjee, She would be a vision of Beauty if only...her complexion was whitened! As if to not to see her and separately see part of her only not as human body as not yet whole, not yet made, as illness, as a single flaw with intent to take away, save it with this so to cure( vanish cream) her of ugliness, oldness, blemishes, freckles, moles and race deliver her as a sign of brightness, lightness, crowned beauty is a defining system. Where her otherness could marked, has been crowned, 2019, Antique mirrors, cotton thread, alabaster bust, antique lace, antique piano stool, mesh grocery bag, buffalo horns, Dimensions variable
Rina Banerjee, The tree flowered, 2012, Acrylic and ink on paper, 30 x 22 in
Rina Banerjee, Unthinkable skirt, 2015, Ink, acrylic, 23kt gold and copper on paper, 14 x 10 in
Rina Banerjee, Where I came from was water and salt and this is where I will go with bangles to tackle my human opponents and tangles of hair that snaked out of air her tongue and yours will know when to play with water, mountain and or air this no human laws shall come to rule, 2015, Ink, acrylic, gold and copper on paper, 14 x 10 in