The Decaying.

The morbid part of me loves Ivan Albright! I was fortunate enough to see a few of his pieces at the Art Institute or Chicago when I took advantage of Bank Of America’s free museum weekend two years ago. SideNote: Bank Of America offers free entrance to several museums in America (Obv) the very first weekend, Sat & Sun, of every month if you are a card holder. I was delighted to see the museum dedicate a section of the museum to Albright.

Albright was obsessed with the decaying human body. I admire his obsession as I believe sometimes we, humans, see ourselves as invincible. I appreciate his vision, a lot of his subjects were young, beautiful, healthy, but he drew what the ‘flesh’ would become. I’m so interested to know what became of the people who he drew inspiration from. As they got older, did they resemble what he paint them as?

Tristan Jonez

AiseLife X Skoli

What a pleasure, to go from seeing Charles White (I’m Super Obsessed) at the Art Institute of Chicago, to seeing up & coming artists in the Chicago art and creative scene at AMFM Gallery. As all of you know, I’m a recent transplant in Chicago, so I had no real clue as to what to expect when I arrived at the venue. Some would say no expectations equals no disappointments, but I was pleasantly surrounded by an outward display of love. AiseLife’s art was captivating, I throughly enjoyed being transported back to the “rink”. Just looking at his depiction of a skating rink, the focus being on the skates, I created a whole narrative in my mind, I could even hear the music and feel the energy. Ultimately isn’t that what art is supposed to do? Create a story for you?

I also was treated to a live performance by @Nomezflute and @loony.is.normal It started off as beat bop meets flute meets soul meets jazz, which I know sounds hard to imagine but it works. Somehow the duo, they’re able to pair the different genres of music and release a vibe that transcends what you believe you’re into musically. As Nomezflute eloquently stated, [Paraphrasing] “this is enchanting music, so let the music move you. Do whatever the fuck You want. Dance to it, move an arm or a leg to it.”

We all vibed and rocked out to the sounds of DJ Skoli. I play the wall, especially when sober, hell even when intoxicated and guess what? I was dancing! So that can only be contributed to Red Line Shorty himself. Extremely focused while ‘spinning’ but amazingly humbled outside of the turn tables. The energy he puts into ensuring you feel him, is exactly why I had to return that same energy to him.

Tristan Jonez

Jonezy Note: I always feel as an intruder to this type of events where creatives show their creativeness. Although I am a creative in my own right, not being a performer, I am slow to open up in these spaces at times. However I am always excited to be in the vicinity of such spaces, the Love was present in abundance. Thank you AMFM Gallery, as well as Aiselife and DJ Skoli.

Pieces of my Soul

I’m a crybaby, always have been and will continue to be but I don’t normally get emotional at museums. Well, I wished someone would love told me to bring the tissues. Recently I traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, first stop, Old State House Museum. Perhaps one day I’ll learn to research what’s on display BEFORE I visit but I’ll admit I’m lazy. However I think y’all know that already.

No secret, I love anything black people related. So I damn there bust out in the ugly cry for the A Piece of my Soul: Quilts by Black Arkansans exhibit. I remember being a young girl and snuggling up to the quilt that my grandmother, Theo Western, kept close. If I close my eyes and concentrate I can almost remember every single square. I’m embarrassed that I never inquired about each patch and the significance. My grandmother has since passed but I was able to find pride in her and this exhibit. Fun Fact: Quilts could weight as much as fifty pounds!

The museum has at minimum two hundred Quilts and proceeds to rotate the Quilts so all can be displayed. Yall know I’m super hyped to return. Growing up did you experience the magic of Quilts?

Tristan J

Flower Power

In my next trick, I will be a floral photographer. I’m always super excited when the light hits a flower just right, when I have company, a bee/an insect, who is admiring the art just as I am, or just after it’s rained and the beads of water have yet to fall. San Jose doesn’t owe me a thing! Every single sidewalk, walkway and park was bursting with fresh flowers, even dying flowers but there’s beauty in death. It’s a goal/dream of mine to host a gallery of my photos. I’d like to believe I can do wonders, and what better way to show them off then putting them ALL on display. I can’t wait until I return to San Jose, California. There’s still so much for me to capture. Tristan Jonez

When In … Nashville

Let’s talk about Nashville.

I can definitely understand why Nashville is being hailed as the “New Vegas”. Last month I was able to experience most of what Honky Town (their words, not mine) had to offer. As y’all know every month, a destination is chosen, then my fly sister and I partake in the culture of said city. I must say, it was an interesting trip, at the least. Do you know how much trouble one can get into in Nashville? Tons babe! Side note: Be open-minded, and don’t be sober for too long.

After walking up and down the bar strip, we FINALLY found a bar that played Hip Hop/R&B, bonus its the rooftop. Double bonus is the famous Nudie’s Honky Tonk! Just know alcohol is definitely liquid courage, it helps you to live outside of your head. {DISCLAIMER: Know your fucking limit when drinking!} I had a great time, dancing, and vibing to the music. I believe always being in control and in charge of my life, sometimes leave me forgetting to enjoy the moment I’m currently in.

What city has helped to release your Inhibitions?

Tristan Jonez

Viva La Puerto Rico

There’s something about the Caribbean, Puerto Rico in particular that I will always be connected to. At times, I’m about to recognize influences in the art, the food or the culture so it’s not surprise I’m smitten with he artist known as Carlos Rolòn. I was fortunate enough to catch his art at the New Orleans Museum Of Modern Art. Flowers will forever be my weakness but then he painted them on an 24K Gold background and it’s almost as if my eyes can’t decide where to look first. The art is set in a dimly lit room with stark white walls, that looks smilies to sand but I could be reaching. Leaving the exhibit, I felt as if I had been brought to the sands of Puerto Rico.

Tristan J

Mask Me.

I want to believe I’m always up for a good adventure, a good story turned memory. So it shouldn’t be a surprise how much fun can be found in a mask shop in the French quarter of New Orleans, just a few weeks before Essence Fest. During Lundi Gras Of 2016, my friend, Felicia and I walked into a mask shop that would forever change my World. Fast forward to June 2018, and I’m still feeling like we all should be so fortune to experience a mask shoppe, with a truly vintage feel.

I’m still trying to decide how and where I can incorporate ‘masking’ into my (daily?) life. For now I’m laser focused on Attending ANY event that will allow me to showcase the beautiful masks that the shoppe has to offer. I’m not sure if it’s creepy or weird to be this obsessed with a mask shoppe.

Tristan Jonez