Miniature-Inspired Yoga Mats by Siona Benjamin / Exclusively for Drishti Beats

We were quite surprised when we first met Siona. A Jewish-Indian artist who grew up in a Jewish community in the heart of Mumbai, India, and was educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools. The history of the Jews in India reaches back to ancient times. Judaism has been in India for over 2000 years and carries many ancient Jewish traditions.

Her work reflects her background of being brought up Jewish in the predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. In her paintings she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays as a transcultural artist today, making a mosaic inspired by Indian and Persian miniature paintings and illuminated manuscripts.

Siona-Benjamin-for-Drishti-Beats
Siona Benjamin for Drishti Beats

New York has been her home for over 30 years. As the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships (a cultural exchange program), she spent time in India and Israel where she explored the theme of multicultural connections between communities.

“My perspective remains transcultural and multicultural at heart. I combine the imagery of my past with the role I play in America today, making a mosaic inspired by illuminated manuscripts and multicultural mythology.”

Many blue-skinned characters populate her paintings. This self-portrait of sorts takes on many roles through which Siona explores ancient and contemporary dilemmas. These characters enact their stories – often recycling myths from various cultures and religions — becoming symbols of a timeless global identity free of prejudices and boundaries.

Mat Designed by Siona Benjamin Exclusively for Drishti Beats

Benjamin’s art is always eclectic, including Sephardic images, Byzantine icons, and styles derived from ancient illuminated manuscripts, all blended with contemporary pop art imagery.  She combines these diverse elements in her paintings, following the technique of Indian/Persian miniatures. But she does more than just collage symbols together. She casts her light on the cross cultural evolution of the context and symbolism of those references as part of her storytelling experience.

Pre-order for Drishti Beats Exclusive Yoga Mats by Siona Benjamin opens in January 2021. Discover more about her work at www.artsiona.com