I’ve been in the process of putting the final touches and arrangements together for my new tiny human that will be entering the world in the next couple of weeks. As part of that transition I’ve been discussing in this series of blogs “Geek Chic Babies: Building a Nerdy Nursery” the creative and fun process of building a nerdy nursery that both fits the needs of our child and us adults (as we will be sharing this space in our 1 bedroom apartment). This is our 1st child… and we’ve refrained from learning our child’s gender until they arrive – our nerdy love of space and science fiction has led us to give our nursery a SPACE theme.
As part of this design concept we have commissioned some of our favorite digital artists to create portraits of members of our family as space explorers. These artists have received reference photos and have been encouraged to create in their own unique style.
Artist Robert García lives in Barcelona, Spain and can be found under the name Gaur Estudio on Etsy or his website. I love that his style is completely his own but still reminds me of other famous artists.
The subject for this portrait by Gaur Estudio was Russ’ Maternal Grandfather, Walter. Walter was born and lived in Lackenbach, Austria until Austria was occupied by Nazi Troops that moved his family into a Jewish ghetto in Vienna where he lived for 4 years with his extended family before they were eventually shipped off to various work and concentration camps. In the ghetto there were regular transports to Auschwitz Concentration Camp to clear out the overcrowded population. He rescued his sister, Erna several times from being put on one of those trains and was put to work moving furniture for the Nazis before being placed in Theresinstadt Labor Camp with Erna (While Theresinstadt sounds like a picnic compared to the death camps it was not, they still starved you and they hung you for any infraction). At one point he escaped the camp and crossed the border into Yugoslavia and was sent back because they thought he was German. After the Russian army liberated his camp he was put in a displacement camp where he met Russ’ Grandmother, Etta who had been liberated by the British from Bergen-Belsen (death camp). They were around the age of 16 and he tried to find his family and siblings but only found his cousin Ernie (still living today) and put him on a boat to Israel. Eventually, Etta and Walter were married and arrived at Ellis Island in New York with $5 and an empty suitcase and created a home and life and had 2 amazing daughters. He joined the baker’s union and worked his way up through the ranks until he was able to open his own bakery in Brooklyn, NY. When Russ was born (his only grandchild) Walter lit up he put all his energy into his grandson and being with Russ took away a whole lifetime of sadness. Walter was funny, and quirky and they had their own language and inside jokes. The way I hear it Walter and Russ were best friends and inseparable for the majority of his childhood. They clearly had a friendship like no other. He taught Russ about life and instilled in him a loving and caring nature for all those in this world, he was a second father to him. If our tiny human is a boy he will take Walter’s name as his middle name and hopefully he can inherit the kindness, strength, humor, and love for his family that Walter always had.
I have heard so many stories about not only Walter but, Walter with Russ from their family that I am so sad I never had the opportunity to meet this remarkable soul that helped shape the man I love into such a wonderful person with such amazing wit and sense of humor he inherited from him. This portrait we have had commissioned will keep the memory of Walter alive and continue to help us tell his story and learn from him.
Check out some other amazing portraits by Gaur Estudio:
See the other featured artists here:
Cristina Garcia Ganga