Monday, October 27, 2008

Art: Siona Benjamin

Siona Benjamin, probably my favorite contemporary Indian artist, is currently showing an exhibit entitled "Lilith in the New World" at the Flomenhaft Gallery on 27th street. "Based on Jewish Midrashic literature, the character, Lilith, is identified as the first Eve, created from the earth at the same time as Adam. According to lore, she was unwilling to forego her equality with Adam and demanded sexual equality. Rebuffed by Adam, she took her case to God, who responded to her seductive powers by revealing His divine name. Speaking His name out loud earned her the ticket out of Pardes or Paradise and into eternal exile. Since then, Lilith has represented the mother of demons, of corruption, of indulgence, slayer of newborns, the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the seductress of men."

As I've mentioned before, Siona was brought up Jewish in a predominately Hindu and Muslim India. This is presented heavily in her work. Her style of combining direct inspiration from Mughals with her own identity and more modern influences is one I've been trying to incorporate into my own (imaginary) art. When I was most recently in India, back in 2006, I brought back 6 Amar Chitra Katha comic books to incorporate into the (imaginary) work I began in my head 4 years ago. These comic books, along with the work of Roy Lichtenstein, serve as an influence for this new series. I also started a series of drawings of Indian gods saying things like FRESH and DOPE two years ago. It's kind of dope to see Siona doing (real) work similar to my (imaginary) own.

This is like that time MIA came out and I was like, FUCK! (I'm still going to cut out the comic book images to paste onto NYC postcards.)

In other news:
1) I got this e-mail from a friend we'll let remain anonymous early this morning. "Yo that Kanye joint Robocop is dead on like Boat Trip. You need to call him out on your blog. I'm hella high off that weed dog." Boat Trip refers to the now summer-classic tune I penned back in 2007 with J-La on production. I can't listen to this song at work but in the mean time you can be the judge of that. Here's the Kanye, peep it before they take it down:
And you can hear Boat Trip at my myspace:
2) I got on the list for tomorrow's Animal Collective Merriweather listening party. I've mentioned my re-found appreciation for all things Animal Collective on this blog for some time now so, needless to say I was super psyched. Unfortunately, the party falls on the same day as Diwali, the main popoff Hindu holiday. I can't sleep on that - I'm trying to collect that Diwali guap. This is very unfortunate.
3) Finally, Das Racist hit the studio this past weekend to record two new songs. You can peep them here: I also started messing around, dropping verses on my boy Lynas' beats with my dude LEX. Dap got on a song we did too - a reggae love song called "In the Night". I don't know where this will go but I'm kind of hyped off of them. We're tentatively called Africa Space Station.

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