Curator Statements

Andrew Zealley 

Tonight, art lives here at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Tonight, art helps us to support Buddies in its continuing work as a cultural mainstay for queer Toronto in risky, complex, and contradictory times. Art helps us understand lived experiences, our own and the lives of others. Take a risk: take art home. This is the important action, tonight. The curator is merely an organizer, a selector. Cutting letters from picture magazines to compose a ransom note: Let’s Help Buddies Now! It is the artist and their work that is critical to movement, messaging, and growth. In this way, I leave the real message of my statement to an artist: What art can offer (if it can at all—to me it seems) is an absence of complexity, a vacuum through which you are led to a state of complete relaxation of mind. After that you may return to the complexity of life again, it may not be the same, or it may be, or you may never return, but that is your problem. (Yoko Ono) 
—Andrew Zealley, Disco Hospital

Tak Pham

For this year’s ArtAttack! Auction, I am putting forward a selection of exciting and innovative voices in Canada’s contemporary art. These artists are advocates, community leaders, trendsetters, researchers, storytellers, and wanderers. Their works reflect complex and beautiful insights into our everyday experiences, questions, internal soul-searching, and spiritual meditation. While addressing topical subject matters, the ways the artists portray them suggest an optimistic outlook and possibilities for a better future. 
The audience will also notice that a few artists here are either from or connected to Saskatchewan. The intention here is to introduce ArtAttack!’s audience to the diverse artistic practices and sensibility available in the land of living skies. You are encouraged to look up, follow, and support the artists following this year’s event.  
-Tak Pham

Malik McKoy

The aim of my selection for ArtAttack was to include artists who were local to Toronto. As an artist who works with vibrant colours myself, I was drawn to the works of Tessar Lo, Kaya Joan, and Jega Delisca. What ties these works together, beyond their vibrancy, is the painterly approach to multimedia work and the evident hand of the artist.
–Malik McKoy