Ryan Tramonte

JAMNOLA Redefining What It Means to Love NEW ORLEANS

December 15, 2022
I love a freak show. You know, the real kind, with the Bearded Lady, the Strong Man, the Lobster Boy, and the twins that are stuck together. Oh, sure, I gravitate to the darkness and spooky factor of it all, but what I really love about a freak show is that it’s essentially an assortment of human beings with remarkable talents and unique attributes who’ve managed to figure out a way to market themselves to the world and turn a real thorn in their sides into something profitable. Throw up a few red and white striped tents, and some flashy blinky lights, and it’s a party.

Beyond all Limits

September 06, 2022
Knowing your limitations can be one of the smartest things you can do for yourself, and I have always known mine. Paying attention to them can be a different story. But knowing something and living something are often two vastly different things.

If you listen to your limitations, you just might find yourself keeping the training wheels on your first two-wheel bike on far longer than you ever needed them. Let your limitations take control, and you’ll find yourself snuggled safely in your nest while the world and all its grand opportunities pass right by you without a second glance.

Immersed in Van Gogh

June 07, 2022
Once at Vacation Bible School—yes, I went to Vacation Bible School, once and only once—anyway, once at Vacation Bible School when I was 9 years old, we were asked a strange question: if we could be any other person in the world for one day, who would we want to be? Stunned, I raised my hand and stated very clearly that my parents did not allow me to fantasize about things that could not happen, but if I did, I would want to be Gloria Vanderbilt because she was a strong woman with a great head of hair, and I liked denim.


June 07, 2022
I am mad bananas for 1970s disaster movies. I was a “Towering Inferno” of excitement when Ms. Shelley Winters declared herself a very skinny girl in the water. Flipping ships, earthquakes, volcanoes, and distressed airliners had me sitting on the edge of my bean bag chair waiting for the Sunday night movie. It only got better when they sold me the catastrophe with an all-star cast. While other kids were counting cookies with Bert and Ernie, the simple words “Ernest Borgnine” had me counting the days till I could see him save the day, and Stella Stevens.

Bevelo Gas & Electric Lights (Like Being a Cajun in a Candy Store)

March 07, 2022
When I switched from Catholic school to private school in the fifth grade, several of my new classmates described me as “fancy.” I took it as a compliment, given that I liked the metallic threads in my button-up shirts, I thought hair should only be feathered, and I covered my K-Swiss with inspirational quotes before inspirational quotes were a thing. “Why be anything other than fancy?” I would say to myself under my breath. “You’re special and noticeable, and everything else pales in comparison to you.” I also liked the word because I could spell it. I was a terrible speller.

Exquisitely Old & Renewed

March 07, 2022
MS Rau
People like to say that kids say the most at amazing and honest things, but I disagree. I find children horrifically boring. And I find that the truth tends to topple the tower of delusion on which I have built my life.

Life Is Like a Ham Sandwich...

December 07, 2021
There is a very valid reason I refuse to run. If I think about it, I am sure I could come up with 72 valid reasons why I don’t run. But only this one applies here: I was running when I broke my foot in the second grade. Doctor Turner called it a clean break and said I would be in a cast for eight weeks while my broken foot healed. What? Eight weeks? I had chickens to feed, cousins to make jealous, and a father to raise. To boot, literally, I wasn’t given one of those super sleek boot things everyone gets today.

Well, that was interesting!

September 30, 2021
While it makes my heart sing to listen to people’s stories about how being quarantined changed their lives and enlightened them about their diets, their marriages, and their affinity for positive affirmation YouTube videos (insert eye roll here), it really excites me to see the changes in the world of art that were a result of artists and gallerists witnessing an unsure, uncertain future staring them in the face. It’s not any specially kept secret that art has had it fair share of growth after global hysterics scared the mixed media out of us in the community. 2020 was no different.

Teamwork Makes the Art Dream Work

January 28, 2020
Artist Emilie Rhys will be celebrating the start of 2020 with a historic exhibit at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Featuring her work together with that of her father, Noel Rockmore, this will be the first time the two artists have been celebrated in one showing. Rhys brings her live oil portraiture to the event in a magnificent scale; the sizes of the pieces are notable with some as large as 30 x 40 inches. Emilie has gained fame for her live sitting portraits, and this show is no exception. The work has been created over multiple sittings with musicians in her studio.

It Doesn’t Always Feel As New As It Looks

January 28, 2020
Once upon time in a land known as Southeast Louisiana, there lived a little prince who had an unusual relationship with a pair of Winnie the Pooh shorts. The prince’s most-favored shorts had a waistband adorned with a fabric inner lining depicting Winnie the Pooh tumbling along with a bowl of honey spilling over. The little prince wore the shorts to church; he wore them to birthday parties and to crawfish boils. He wore them to vacation in Grand Isle and even wore them to sleep, when he could get away with it.

It’s Just Art

November 01, 2019
The life of an art writer is not always easy. Gallerists waiting until the last minute to send me high resolution images, saucy assistants pretending they can’t attach a PDF, and let’s not forget the artists. We love you; you’re great. Who are YOU again?

Sometimes I just have to sit back and remind myself that it isn’t the end of the world, and that, inevitably, IT’S JUST ART.

So why do I keep throwing myself onto this sword for the sake of art, you ask? Good question.

I wish I had an answer for you that did not involve my low self-esteem and Catholic guilt!