The artist Nina Romm in her studio in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. I’ve always loved Nina’s work, which is playful and witty and alive with allegory, surprise, and invention. It also frequently features cats, sinuous, aloof and Sphinx-like in their inscrutability, and how can anyone argue with an artist who loves cats? Nina has recently begun exploring Photoshop as a tool for creating art, and she showed me some collage-style works that have a vivid and dynamic energy. She asked me what I thought of her works-in-progress. “Oh, I like them,” I said, nodding thoughtfully in the manner of an art critic. Then she asked me the big question beloved of artists, scientists, and philosophers. “Why?” I’m still trying to figure that one out, but sometimes the only satisfying answer, at least when it comes to the arts, is why not.


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