“Meet the Young Roses: The Next Generation of Socially Conscious Socialites” – Vogue, June 2017

It’s that time again. The office around you grows quiet. People are “this can wait until Monday” slow to respond to your emails and phone calls. You just finished your sandwich with a side of fresh fruit and you begin to feel the heaviness in your eyes, trying to fight it before your brain screams to run to the nearest coffee shop. Time pretty much comes to a halt as you beg and plead with the Time gods to make 5 o’clock (or 4 if you have a state-wide rot rally coming to your area of town and causing traffic jams that forces you out of the office early, like me). Yes, it’s the dreaded (or anticipated) Friday afternoon.

I always like to spend at least a tid-bit of time on myself to keep me motivating and not looking at numbers all day. I will go out and take a walk, doodle or catch up on my reading. Since I forgot my copy of Anna Karenina (on the list for the “30 in 3” Book Challenge), I have escaped to my favorite place in the world: Vogue. 

Since I have already read the June 2017 story on Elle Fanning (a beautiful piece that makes you want to be BFFs with Elle), it was time to venture down the list. My eye caught the article titled above. My dream is to be a self-made New York socialite (the casual “nerdy/dorky is cool” type. Not the ditzy type, if those still exist), so I found this article intriguing.

The story, written by a variety of Vogue writers, provides a brief look at five NYC’s latest batch of socialites who are successful, charitable, and, of course, fashionable. I love the theme of red the creators used throughout the article. It gives the element of power, which makes the women all the more grand.

My favorite two are the two that get the biggest pictures on the mosaic below: Nieves Zuberbühler and Amy Sall.

Nieves is cool for a) her badass name and b) the fact she works at 60 Minutes and interviewed the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor. How I want to be a fly on that wall! What makes her an extra level of cool is the ease she takes from casual  to over-the-top-glamorous. Halloween wedding with 900+ guests and a Brandon Maxwell wedding dress that is made of over 250 yards of chiffon? And not just any chiffon, but satin-faced chiffon? Girl, you know how to live it up.

I recognized Amy Sall from the pages of my J. Crew catalogs. My favorite aspect of her is the fact she was a former UN intern AND has a Master’s degree in human-rights studies from Columbia University. Her main focus according to Vogue is her work on the SUNU Journal, an outlet “centered on ideas of African cultural expression.” I looked up the journal on the interwebs and came across their website. Their home page has “Coming Soon” above the subscribe box, but fortunately they have a mission statement page, which you can find here. Amy Sall, overall, is graceful and fierce, and ready to take on the world of the socialites and the socially conscious.

(Read the full article to learn about the other Young Roses here http://www.vogue.com/article/new-generation-philanthropists-june-vogue-issue-cleo-wade-cecile-winckler)

“Tribute to Eric Theriot” Painting by Ramstedt

This beautiful painting before you is a touching tribute to artist Ramstedt’s friend, Eric Theirot.

Eric Theirot was born in Austin, Texas on New Year’s Day, 1995. He lived in Austin for 16 years before moving to North Carolina with his parents and three siblings. He graduated high school and went to the Univeristy of North Carolina – Charlotte. He graduated this past May with Honors, majoring in Computer Science. Two days after his graduation, he passed in a tragic car accident. Eric is a loved son, brother friend, and young man, whose bright future was cut short.

As mentioned earlier, Ramstedt created a lovely and touching piece of work to dedicate his friend’s life. The colors are vibrate and it is easy to tell they were a pair of great friends.

Ramstedt will be selling prints of the piece to help raise money for Eric’s family. You can message him on Facebook, or call him at +1 (512) 983-7860.

Please also help support the Theirot family by donating to their GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/erictheriot). Their goal is to reach $20,000 to help pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, etc.

Rest In Peace Eric Theirot.

Curtis Ramstedt

Curtis Ramstedt, local ATX artist and founder of Esplosivoism, is at it again! For those of you who don’t know Ramstedt or Esplosivoism, you are in for a treat as the two go hand in hand. Esplosivoism, in my mind, is taking a pound of Salvador Dali with a couple gallons of modern psychedelic strokes, a pinch of political statements and a whole lot of bold style. For a concrete definition from the founder himself, please read:

“Esplosivoism I describe as [the] pragmatic marraige between the modern and the classical. I use modern techniques such as emphasis on shape and bright color. I do have the same birthday as Henri Matisse [December 31st], but I also use philosophy, symbolism and Renaissance-esque themes like classical art.”

Ramstedt is taking the ATX by storm, even been recently featured in Gorrie’s Perspective.

(For my ol’ Your Way With Words followers, you may know this man by a different name with a different art skill: Curtis Des Marias, the poet. Remember “I, Sisyphus”? How about that villanelle, “Pour Ma Jolie”?)

***

The quirky man with a crazy sense of fashion and art has revealed his latest painting, “Catholica Scientiam”, one of the biggest projects he has undertaken. I at first thought it was multiple canvases that he cut up and glued together but boy was I wayyyyyyyy off. It’s a build-able canvas that makes a statement between Catholicism and science.

The cover. (Courtesy of Curtis Ramstedt)

I feel like I’m in 1970s galactic disco with a bunch of floating grapes (this is why I’m the writer/math in the group and not the art curator hahaha).

The right inside flap. (Courtesy of Curtis Ramstedt)

I feel like I’m on the border of three different dimensional wormhole portals. The contrast between the left and the right is quite significant. I wonder if he meant to put the creative side on the left and the logical, black/white side on the right to match the personalities of left-handed and right-handed people. I asked him and he had this to say:

“[It’s a] relation between culture and economic systems and human rights and scientific progress.”

Yep, I’m off. But that’s the joy of art. You can interpret it any way you like.

The inside (Courtesy of Curtis Ramstedt)

When you open it, the relation is made much more clear. Though I still feel like I’m in a fancy palace with naked pregnant lady that is being observed by a bunch of scientists.

***

Curtis Ramstedt is an interesting guy. He’s come a long way from his start in 2013. He is inspired by things in his life and, according to Ramstedt, the random “thoughts [he has] at the day…[his] brain never shuts off.”

“Jazz Party” – Ramstedt

Fun little fact: the girl in the paining is moi. Yes, moi. Back in 2014, Ramstedt was looking for something to paint and I told him to paint a jazz party. That was one of the last conversations we had for almost two and a half years (aka my “disappearing act”, a story for another day), so I didn’t get to see the painting until we reconnected in March. A few weeks later, I bought the painting. Don’t go criticizing or judging on vanity. You’d do the same. 😉

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Want to see his art in person? You can check it out at the Kasbah Moroccan Lounge in West Campus.

Like what you saw? Follow/Like Ramstedt on Facebook. Post about it on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Make sure to use #ramstedt and #z&h when you share. 😀

Want to buy one of his pieces? Check out his website, http://ramstedt-art.com/. Please note he also does custom paintings.

Curtis Ramstedt. Once he’s in your life, no matter how hard you try to disappear, you can’t seem to get rid of him. He adds color to life with a stroke of a paintbrush…and a corny joke or two :).

 

April 21, 2017

Happy 2,770th birthday Rome! April 21, 753 BC is considered the traditional date Remus and Romulus founded the beautiful city. So to celebrate, enjoy this quote about the dreamy city of Roma.

Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.

-Giootto di Bondone, Renaissance painter

Baroncelli Chapel - Giotto
Baroncelli Chapel

Poetry: The Clash

Some of my nerdier friends and I like to play this game in which we have to create a poem using song titles from a musician or band. Actually came up with this one using Clash songs two summers ago while wandering out the fancy chocolate section in the grocery store.

 

Oh you.

“Rudie can’t fail” we thought.

What a pitiful thought!

Rudie, if you are going to “Rock the Casbah”

As you get “Lost in the Supermarket” with “Janie Jones”

Then I shall ask you this “Should I Stay or Should I Go”?

“I Fought the Law” with “Police & Thieves”

by throwing “Spanish Bombs” at a “White Riot”

while driving my “Brand New Cadillac”.

Hurry up Rudie as the clock is ticking.

I’m trying to escape on a “Train in Vain”

to the Mother country because “London Calling”.

 

Note: I do not own any of these titles, so any party involved with Joe Strummer’s estate or The Clash in general: please don’t sue me.

The Fickle Things

We find that time
is a fickle thing.
We are actually
Quite, quite wrong.
What we don’t realize
is that we are
the fickle things.
We fear change
Yet we are
Constantly changing.
Growing, learning.
We support things,
places,
people.
Yet when the time comes,
We cut the chord,
Close the shop,
Disappear,
Hoping to never be seen again.

Time.
Time remains constant,
Always forward, never backward.
Always and forever there.
Time haunts us,
tempts us,
provokes us to return
to that place we once knew.
That place we now yearn.
Ironic, n’est-ce pas?

That place.
The sights of Jiffy 620s on display,
Of curiosities on shelves,
Of groovy artwork on faded walls.
The smells of cigars,
Of high quality coffee at low prices,
of home.
The sounds of laughter,
of love in bloom,
of philosophical talks and debates.
Now replaced by
the flashing of phone cameras,
modern and sleek boutiques,
the crowds of foreign folks.
Not a single familiar face in sight.

We find that time
is a fickle thing.
We are indeed
quite quite wrong.
The person you were then,
the person you yearn to be again,
the person you are now,
Are as strange as the places
themselves.
Not a single familiar face in sight.

XYZ

In high school they say

“The real world is XYZ.”

You fear it,

You wonder about it,

You desire it.

 

Off to college and they say

“The real world is XYZ.”

You fear it as you near it.

You desire it to get out to it.

You are in it.

 

The real world is here

And you find yourself

Stumped.

As the rules were always the

same:

High school cliques,

Robotic hours,

Maddening thoughts to get

out.

 

In the world they say

“The real world is XYZ.”

But we all know

XYZ is the current

Situation.

The Head & The Heart

You’ve probably heard their catchy lyrics or their badass violinist. No? You deprived child!

Based out of Seattle, The Head & The Heart is an indie folk band with a distinct sound that formed in the summer of 2009. Their first album, The Head & The Heart, is a beautiful composition that takes you on a whimsical adventure of sorts. At least, for me it does. They released their third album, Signs of Light, last year, which is a mix of their original sound with more upbeat tempos, seen in “Rhythm & Blues” and “All We Ever Knew”.

Recommendations? Tough crowd. Well, there’s the talented keyboardist who has a ragtimey sound in the lovely, catharic “Lost in My Mind”. This is the first song that made me fall in love with them.

 

Lost in My Mind

 

Need a little more convincing? Well the soothing lyrics and nostalgic instrumentals will transport you to the childhood fields you once roamed.

Down in the Valley

 

Not into the slow moving tunes? Like I said, you have their more upbeat songs to choose from. There’s the fun love song “Rhythm & Blues”, a contrast from the theme of inner reflection seen in the two previous songs.

Rhythm & Blues

Is your heart racing yet? Are you just absolutely obsessed with them now? No? Google The Head & The Heart, or check them out at their website.

The Blanton

Over the weekend, Siddiqi (my friend who will be mentioned in many posts. Sorry/not sorry Siddiqi as you are an entertaining accomplice) and I checked out Blanton’s new permanent collection at their all day/all night block party. I’ve gotta say going to a museum at 9 PM brings a sense of extra wonder and that childish feeling of sneaking into a place that you knows is closed any other day, despite the fact your eyes and brain are shouting that the museum is intentionally open until 11 PM.

Music from El Tule blasted away at 9 PM. There was even a couple salsa dancing to the trumpets and electric guitar!

 

Photo Mar 25, 9 04 22 PM
El Tule playing in the Blanton’s grand foyer on Saturday night.

 

As you moved away from the live action, Nina Katchadourian’s work could be seen in the first floor gallery. She had some interesting stuff, like family tree of pop culture icons and artworks using only materials within an arm’s reach on an airplane.


The second floor housed the permanent collection. The Renaissance art stayed put, which is an always comforting thought for any fan of the Renaissance such as myself. It was refreshing to see some new items, namely a few statues.

Our favorite find, though, was a simple black canvas with old international currency stuck onto it. We spent about ten minutes trying to name as many countries we could find. Siddiqi felt so proud to know there were multiple Pakistani coins. I was excited to find the USSR coins (I am not Russian but do claim myself as a beginner level Russophile). We were so into our financial nerdiness that we didn’t realize the piece was actually a constellation map using international currency. Thirty seconds into attempting to decipher the constellations, we just went back into our bubble of naming countries. I got to say,  I would not mind spending my money on a museum ticket and UT parking just to see that wall all day long.

All in all, it was a very artistic, fun and great way to get confused about art.

He contemplates. What he contemplates no one will ever know.