(b. 1992, Chennai, India; lives and works in Queens, New York)
Gotham City (“Goat’s Town” in Old English), 2020. Gouache, watercolor, acrylic and collage on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Amidst the cornucopia of fresh and affordable produce, in the loud, crowded and narrow aisles of a neighborhood Italian grocery store, I feel echoes of my homeland thousands of miles away. With its fearless and resilient nature, the goat is a symbol of joyful aspiration in my work. Since “Gotham” originally meant “Goat’s Town,” you find goats playing free in a vibrant Queens street corner, the one with my favorite store, signaling a brighter future.
Madhini Nirmal is a participant in Art on the Grid, a citywide, open-air exhibition presented by Public Art Fund. Conceived in the spring of 2020, the exhibition features 50 artists’ reflections on the converging crises of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism in our country.