When Mia opened her eyes I returned to my questioning. “Artists have often worked with nudes,” I said, “So, why don’t you hire a model rather than doing all this yourself?”
She seemed to welcome the question. “Partly, honestly, it’s money. How much is it going to cost to hire a model for days on end, with no idea of whether anything of worth will come out of it? And then, once I started, I realised the insight I had I couldn’t gain any other way. I had to experience the art as well as creating it.”
“And your compositions,” I continued, “There are other artists that work with nude individuals and groups. But in your pieces, there’s only ever one nude: you.”
It seemed another topic Mia was prepared for. “We are doing very different things and, in my work, I think the juxtaposition is much sharper if there is only a single nude. I think many nudes can be very visually appealing, but a single nude poses more questions; it forces the viewer to interact with the representation of an individual.”
Hearing a noise, I looked around. An elderly man was barely twenty feet away from us along the path. I started to reach for the raincoat, and then realised the futility of it. He smiled as he came alongside us, waved his hand and said something in Spanish. Mia replied with a grin and tilted her head towards me. His eyes followed her direction and we exchanged a smile. I looked at her, wanting to know what had happened.