Brian & Ann's European Experience

Thursday, March 03, 2005


The last time I saw Nieves was almost four years ago. She came for the US wedding of our friends Ken and Sole, which was in the summer of 2001.

Nieves was one of the au pair crop that Ken and I, and various other Princeton locals hit on. I ended up with Ann, and Ken ended up with Sole, so there were no suitable suitors left in all of Princeton and sadly Nieves left at the end of her au pair term in 1999.

Nieves moved to Germany to live with her boyfriend at the time, Manuel, without knowing a lick of German (well, strictly speaking that’s not true…). I remember thinking what a huge leap of faith that was for her. Nieves is as Spanish as you can get, close with her large sized family, talks at a mile a minute when she gets excited, often gets excited. Loves life and art. She was part of our band (Smelly Pig), has a great singing voice, and a few other great physical assets. I’m speaking about her eyes of course. Big and green. ;-)

So Nieves moved to Germany, got a job in Stuttgart working for Mercedes, and is now speaking fluent German and climbing the corporate ladder, leading a busy and fulfilling life. I caught up with her over Italian in Stuttgart while I was in Heidelberg on business. I was immediately reminded what a warm and caring person she is, and how sad it was that after she left I didn’t keep in touch. I’m lazy that way, and the cost was evident to me while I listened to the brief version of the last four years.

I got to see her apartment and her DVD of her performances on various German TV shows (she’s an actress too, and plays a very convincing Venezuelan mother). I even got to see her naked. Well, sort of. Apparently Nieves and a few other women were somehow convinced to get naked, cover themselves with white and black body paint, and then pose in artistic positions against a white screen while a projector shone images onto their bodies.

I know, it sounds very weird, but the effect it created was really cool. First of all, not all of their bodies are painted white, so the images projected on them only come through partially. In many of the pictures you could kind of make out body parts and outlines of female forms, but their bodies blend into the screen, and the images being projected on them act as their clothing. The different angles and positions give the eye so much to look at that it’s often very hard to really focus on the people, and you get this very interesting effect of seeing pieces of human shape embedded in these very colorful pictures of other things. I was very impressed, there are some very cool shots. In fact, I am thinking about becoming an ‘artistic’ photographer myself. All I need is a camera, a projector, a few gallons of body paint, and I’m in business.


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