@SNAP4act Photography Series

I love being able to give through my paintings and photography. One of my favourite ways of doing this is through a photographic event called SNAP in Toronto, presented by TD. The evening consists of both a live auction and a silent auction, and an entire night of tunes, food, drink and mingling. This year there will a drag performance by a RuPaul’s Drag Race superstar – Aquaria!

There are two auctions that take place during the evening – a Curated Live Auction collection and a juried competitive collection – the Silent Auction Collection. The acts of jurying and curation are performed by some of Toronto’s most well known creatives and sharp-eyed philanthropists! For four years now I have submitted an entry to the juried Silent Auction pool and had the good fortune of being selected. Here is an overview of the photographic works I have submitted.

Dan Nuttall, Brothers in Brown, available as limited series of 10.

Here’s what I said in 2015 in relation to “Brothers in Brown”:

“As a recovering catholic I like the role that subversive art can play in questioning the dogma of the church. Here, the twinning and reversal of one of the images is a simple device that creates two men, identical twins. The title, offers another form of twinning, in the form of double meaning as Brothers (ecclesiastical) or brothers (siblings). The mirroring (used here as a psychological term) can be seen as a form of mimicked behaviour (we imitate the gestures of others during conversation to establish a rapport for example). Such replication may increase intimacy and enhance connection. Certainly many men have connected through the church and their faith however we tend to have their sexual sides overshadow their spiritual. Is there a spiritual or religious tale of two men in love in the context of organized religion? Somehow, the flipping of the image also created a cat-head vase in a floral headdress in the middle. Is this some accident or could it be the hand of god?”

You can read about Queer Catholics as the “ultimate rebels”, HERE.

Dan Nuttall, Pansy For Jocks 1, 2 and 3, photographic series, edition of 10.

My entries for the next 2 SNAP silent auction competitions were from a series titled “Pansy For Jocks” which used jock strap cups and hockey garters and girdles to create flowers. You can read a more comprehensive description of my process HERE. Though a series of 3 was created only two were submitted over 2 separate years to @SNAP4act – the successful entries being “Pansy For Jocks 1” (black, upper right and lower left) and “Pansy For Jocks 3” shown in the lower right corner above.

Here’s is an excerpt from my writing on the above series: “In sports, many aspects of “maleness” are underpinned by “femaleness”. Some men acknowledge these underpinnings while others eschew them. I find it hard to ignore femininity in a world of spandex, padding, cups, straps, clips and girdles. In and of themselves these design “elements” are “neutral” – materials, shapes, degrees of rigidity, support, protection and wicking. Historically, these neutral design elements have been sexualized when it comes to men thinking about of women. However, it is anathema to most men to think of them as erotic when applied to other males, especially in the locker room. In the gay world all these suspensory elements are celebrated – exploited as “hyper-male”. Many a well-swung gay fantasy has rotated around the fulcrum of a jock strap.

For “Pansy For Jocks 3” I received an Award of Merit at the 2018 SNAP event – I was thrilled and humbled amongst such a great field of artists and photographers. Thank you jurors!

Dan Nuttall, WONDER, limited edition series of 10.

This year’s submission is from a series of works titled “Constructions” which use twinning again (remember “Brothers in Brown”) and structure (this time steel straps and girders) to create a novel and whimsical entity intended to affect mood. The queer community in Toronto has had a trying year – problems with the police, a serial killer, ongoing politics about how, why and with whom we celebrate our pride. I wanted to create something “synthetic”, new and integrated, light and positive.

You can see more of art and photography at: www.dandoesdesign.com

You can follow my art on FaceBook at: https://www.facebook.com/torontoartist/

You can follow me on Instgram @dandoesdesign

Simply typing in the words “Dan Nuttall” and “art” in a Google Search will also give you a nice overview of my work.

I am represented by Lee Contemporary Art and Partial Gallery and specific artworks are availabe through these awesome and supportive galleries!

Have Great Day!

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HYDROLOGY : Art Reflects Change and Resilience in Toronto’s Gay Village

It’s not far from here, in 2016, that Black Lives Matter took a stand on the gay pride march and the participation of City of Toronto police. Within the same distance the body of a murdered young woman, Tess Richey, was discovered in 2017 in the outdoor stairwell of a Church Street building. More recently, the community has been rocked by the murders of men, all targeted by an alleged serial killer who is now in custody. To say the least, the last few years have been challenging and un-nerving for Toronto’s gay village. Toronto artist Dan Nuttall is creating art that reflects on these trying times. “I wanted to use nature to express the complexity of connection and change as well as resilience and optimism”.

 

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Dan Nuttall “Bruised Cloud”, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 40, diptych, available.

 

The art is on display in “The Window”, a storefront art gallery operated by ONE Properties at 558 Church Street, just a few feet from the Church and Wellesley intersection. The art is on display from August 28 – October 2, 2018.

At first glance the three paintings in Nuttall’s show “Hydrology” seem to bear little relation to the complex issues facing this community. Two of the paintings capture clouds (“Thunder Cloud” and “Bruised Cloud”) and the other a stream (“Broad Stream”). On closer inspection however the metaphoric aspects of the works begin to relate more broadly – to personal and community cultural contexts. How is a cloud like a person? In his artist statement Nuttall says this: “Our celestial selves are made of light stuff – tiny things that come together to make us visible, make us feel solid, make us feel separate and distinct. Floating through life, it seems clear sailing. As much as we are able to see from our unique vantage points, we cannot see the small things rushing toward us nor observe their incorporation into our selves. Over time, small things accumulate and condense, are rendered visible and given form. An outburst allows part of the self to detach and return to the ground from whence it came. Turbulence keeps us aloft. Dialogue is a goddess of small exchanges.”

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Dan Nuttall, “Thunder Cloud”, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 47″, available

For Nuttall, incorporating the perspective of Black Lives Matter in the gay pride parade was a necessary way for the queer community to move forward, a way to change, a way to have turbulence keep the political aspects of queer and black culture alive: “I’m a product of the era of AIDS activism and I vividly remember the need for the political acts of groups like ACT UP in New York City. Who can forget “Silence = Death” and the confrontations that precipitated so much awareness?”

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Dan Nuttall, “Broad Stream”, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″ each image, available

The themes of connection, changefulness and resilience are present again in his stream painting which is a quadriptych – the stream has been separated across four separate canvases – and requires the viewer to stitch together the stream in their mind, which Nuttall refers to as “an ecological act”. Again, Nuttall is again echoing the themes found in the cloud paintings but also pointing to something else – seeing nature as a source of peace, of healing and inspiration. “Nature is where we can seek healing and peace and for many it is a source of the mystical. For the queer community the last few years have meant challenging ourselves, re-embracing activism and the political, and dealing with new threats”.

Writing about his “stream” series of paintings, Nuttall states: “The emanations found in the paintings of artists like Emily Carr and Charles Burchfield used calligraphic brushstrokes to symbolize the unseen or unknown. Light, sound and the presence of a greater power float within their scenes of nature. In these paintings of streams the emanations, as crescent-shaped blades of white, draw our attention to nature, to the “in-between” of nature, and then beyond to the unknown and unseen. Life, as subatomic, both light particle and wave, illustrating the engine, the power, the mystery that drives it all.” In this moment, at this time, located at the crossroads of the queer village, these paintings both speak and listen.

You can find more of this artist’s work at: www.dandoesdesign.com

You can read about The Window gallery here: http://thewindow558.com/

Dan Nuttall may be reached at: dandoesdesign@hotmail.com