5 November 2021


India Nielsen "guardie e ladri (cops and robbers)" - 2021 - photo © Damian Griffiths

In her paintings, London-based artist India Nielsen interweaves subjective experience with elements of the 1990s and 2000s pop culture. As a teenager, she identified with MTV (Music Television) stars, such as Britney Spears, Madonna and Eminem. At the same time, the visual, ritualistic world of her Catholic upbringing were formative: the saints with their supernatural abilities, seemed to her to reflect aspects of the human psyche split in pieces, the iconography of the Sacred Heart and the Weeping Virgin Mary and the spiritual dimension of Catholicism. India Nielsen sees her paintings as vessels in which her inner life, her memories, feelings and projections can be inscribed and unfold. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art from 2012 to 2016 and graduated with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2018. On the occasion of her London solo presentation “M is for Madonna, M is for Mariah, M is for Mother” at Darren Flook (which also marks the inauguration of his new gallery space, a former psychotherapist’s office on 106 Great Portland St.), we discuss the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on Nielsen’s practice, her enduring love for pre-eminent pop divas, her fascination with the saints of the Roman Catholic Church and the distinct dichotomies that pervade the artist’s painting practice.