A Look Inside the Creative Work of Photographer Nilangana Banerjee

Los Angeles photographer Nilangana Banerjee was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has always been interested in images and photography since she was a child and learned the basics from her father who shot 35mm film prints and then she immersed herself in capturing images on film when a camera was put in her. Her passion for this art led her to earn a degree in still photography and audiovisual production and then she climbed even further to achieve a Master’s Degree in commercial photography from one of the most prestigious art educational institutions in India, Light & Life Academy (LLA).

After university, Nilangana filmed her beautiful India for three years and also did a lot of commercial work in her chosen fields of architecture/Interiors and Industrial/Corporate. She moved to Los Angeles and earned her second Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, specializing in photography at the famous New York Film Academy. Her work has been a part of numerous global exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York and Portland. Nilangana has now become a recognized expert in her field and is critically acclaimed and recognized in both journals and newspaper articles.

Nilangana’s interest in imagery lends itself perfectly to story telling and the effects that certain stories have on our culture. Classic Nursery Rhymes especially attracted Nilangana. She found that like millions of other kids, she too was exposed to these little stories that actually possessed subliminally disguised violent interpretations. During her research of these classics, she realized that our unconscious perceptions could act either negatively or positively in shaping one’s personality or identity. Her photographic series is a splendid and quite impressive momentary glimpse into the terror that many of these ‘innocent’ nursery rhymes can and many times do inspire.

It was the butcher knife in the hand of the woman in Lucy Locket looks, at the very least, that was a bit threatening. Of course, the look on the knife-holder’s face says it all: she is ready to kill in an instant. The image for Rock a Bye Baby already has blood on the carpet and it appears that the photographer got there a little too late to stop the mayhem. And so the others go.

Nilangana’s other current photographic study is based on one of the most common yet underestimated psychological conflict that is faced by people at large: the quest for deciding who “he” wants to be. The series reflects upon the current state of the self, the protagonist, which he is highly dissatisfied with. Ultimately, when attempting to reach the ideal self, the protagonist has a complete breakdown and loses both selves – the current self and the ideal self.

Nilangana’s story telling in one shot is masterful. The scenes are full of textured objects that give the images a feel of Renaissance paintings in the 16th century. The muted colors and the understated action all work to pull the audience into a world that is at once strange and familiar to all of us. Very thoughtful and thought provoking pictures.

Nilangana’s achievements have had a significant impact on her field at such a young age, including; as a ‘Lead Photographer’ selected at global art platforms the Photoville, New York 2017 and featured in the book, The Paleosecret, 2017 and the Vice Magazine, 2016.

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