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Siona Benjamin
Montclair, NJ
Painting




Artwork Details
Eda: Finding Home No. 71
2006
Gouache and gold leaf on paper
17” x 13”
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Siona Benjamin is a painter originally from Bombay, now living in New Jersey. Her work reflects her background of being brought up Jewish in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. In her paintings she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by both Indian miniature paintings and Jewish and Christian illuminated manuscripts.


Siona is inspired by traditional styles of painting, like Indian/Persian miniatures, Byzantine icons and Jewish and Christian illuminated manuscripts, but she blends these ancient forms with pop cultural elements from our times to create a new vocabulary of her own. Using the rich colors of gouache she apply layers, literally with the paint, as well as metaphorically with the content. Painting is Siona's ritual, her celebration and her essence. Her research and ideas flow simultaneously together and make up the fabric of her work. She uses gouache paints and 22K gold leaf to form layers of jewel like color. Her background in painting, enameling on metal and theater set design all influence her work. Her characters are real as they act out contemporary situations and dilemmas, while also celebrating her womanhood, her abilities, her strengths and her ambitions.


Siona received a 2004 Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts amongst several other awards, residencies and grants. Her work has been featured in: The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Jewish Week in NYC and NJ, The Boston Globe, Art in America, Art New England, Art and Antiques, Moment magazine and Nashim-A Jewish Feminist Art Journal.

Images