Posts tagged Toronto
Women Working in the Arts: Liza from @curatoronthego

For the next installment of our Women Working in the Arts series we are excited to share the story of Liza, founder of @curatoronthego. She is a Toronto based independent art curator and fine art agent who we recently connected with via PxP Contemporary. After reading about her business, her background in curating, and the exciting projects she has been working on, make sure to check out her top picks from our gallery on Instagram or Facebook!

Tell us a bit about your background as a curator. What kind of work interests you?

Art has always been my passion; as a young girl, I attended art classes, and any time my family travelled, I was excited to visit local museums and art galleries. When I moved to Canada in 2010, I chose Art History as one of my majors and decided that I wanted to work professionally in the art world.

After working in a few local art institutions, I completed my MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. The program gave me the opportunity to work on larger curatorial projects and meet many amazing local artists, which was perfect for me. My thesis exhibition focused on themes of storytelling and community engagement. When there is a story behind the artwork, it brings value to the piece, and creates a conversation between the artist, collector, and their respective friends and family. I believe that people love art that challenges them and makes them think.

Now, I work directly with artists and help them thrive as art entrepreneurs. This year I helped ten artists who were stuck in their careers and were seeking artistic direction. I mentor artists on how to build a prosperous and thriving art business, and educate them on how to work with art dealers, pricing and market their works, organize exhibition, conduct sales, and more.

Name one woman artist - either contemporary or from history - who has had an impact on you.

I try not to have role models. People tend to copy those who are more successful, and I believe having my own unique story and voice is what is important to me and what I value most in other people. However, I’ve been working with one local artist for the last five years, and she has inspired me to believe in myself, dream big and work smart. Her name is Jessica Gorlicky; she is a Toronto-based fine art and performance artist and has toured around the world speed painting, and making outstanding emotional art, including an international street art movement. Not only is she a talented artist, but also a skilled businesswoman, entertainer, and inspiration for many emerging artists.

What is one piece of advice you would give to emerging artists?

Invest in yourself.

Artists need to invest in their careers. That includes supplies, studio space, and if they work from home, they should make sure to eliminate any distractions. Artists should invest in their career development, like traveling to other countries, exhibiting at international art fairs and shows, and using helpful technology, such as mailing lists, to grow their network. As well, do not be afraid to rely on professionals like accountants, lawyers, and mentors to help you with behind-the-scenes tasks; it will help you to dedicate as much time as possible on art production. Lastly, it’s important to have a clear mindset, and a set of goals for a successful career. If you are not willing to invest in your career, who will?

Do you have any exciting projects, collaborations or exhibitions coming up that you’d like to share? 

In August, I hosted my first Career Recharge Seminar Event for local artists as a platform to get advice and learn from art and non-art professionals, and also as a place to network and share their stories. The event has inspired me to host more art seminars in the future, and to build new platforms for artists, such as online courses to share tips and tools, and guide artists to create profitable art businesses when they are unable to hire an agent or curator, and do what they love. 

In October, I am curating a solo show of one of the artists I currently represent Matt Pine ( in Toronto.

You can find me at or on Instagram @curatoronthego.

By Alicia Puig

Human Imagination Explored in the Portraits by Erin Armstrong

Erin is a contemporary figurative artist working and living in Toronto, CA. Her work looks into the human imagination as it is expressed visually. She is particularly intrigued by the ways in which the mind can conjure and create worlds by piecing together memory, experience, and the ability of the mind’s eye to render a non-reality. She draws on the genre of portraiture as a foundation for these explorations, but chooses to depict not a person or sitter, but an atmosphere or sensation expressed inside the formal qualities of human shapes. 

Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Canada and the US as well as England, Australia, Scotland, Switzerland, and Sweden. She is currently working towards two upcoming solo shows in Seattle and Geneva in 2019. 

Select features include: Nylon Magazine, House and Home Magazine, ShopBop, Its Nice That, Domino, Cultured Magazine, The Jealous Curator.

Select clients/projects include: Nike, Anthropologie, The Drake Hotel, Portia De Rossi’s "General Public Art", Hulu’s “The Handmaids Tale”, Saatchi Limited.

Solo Exhibition by Artist Danielle Krysa at Mayberry Fine Art

By Ekaterina Popova

Artist Danielle Krysa has been busy in the studio this year, and it shows. I have always been a fan of her collage work, but most recently she took her studio practice on a whole other level and released a solo exhibition filled with large scale paintings and mixed media pieces that will inspire you, take your breath away and even make you laugh.

Danielle's work is on view at Mayberry Fine Art from June 1 - June 28, 2019. To purchase or inquire about available work visit or email

Danielle's Statement:

There are, and always have been, a ridiculous number of stories in my head - stories I tell myself, stories I share out loud, and stories that become my mixed media collages. My most recent work takes those narratives a little further, inviting the viewer into my mind. There are messes and moments of pure joy that exist in an ‘artist’s chaotic and abstract world. There are also quiet white spaces – completely void of ideas – but then somehow, someway the creative machine starts churning again. A juicy stroke of paint in the perfect hue, or just the right found image and, voila, joy is restored! These artworks are a glimpse into the never-ending treasure hunt that goes on in my head – a combination of humor, personal thoughts, rich textures, found images and vibrant color.
— Danielle Krysa

Danielle is the writer behind the contemporary art site, The Jealous Curator, and the author of "Creative Block", "Collage", "Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk" and "A Big Important Art Book". Her work is in private collections in Canada, The United States and Europe. She has a BFA in Visual Arts, and a post-grad in graphic design and lives with her family in British Columbia.

The Courage to Enjoy It: Podcast Interview with Andrew Salgado

On this episode of Art and Cocktails, Kat interviews contemporary artist Andrew Salgado about the inspiration behind his recent exhibition at Angell Gallery, his approach to painting, bringing pleasure back to art-making, the importance of rest for artists and much more.

Andrew Salgado is a leading young figurative painter with over a dozen sold-out international exhibitions, including London, New York, Zagreb, Miami, Cape Town, and Basel. In 2017, Salgado was the youngest artist to ever receive a survey-exhibition at The Canadian High Commission in London, accompanied by a 300-page monograph, both of which were entitled TEN

“The large scale, gestural paintings of Andrew Salgado explore concepts relating to the destruction and reconstruction of identity – a process that he views as re-considering the conventions of figurative painting through a pursuit toward abstraction. Salgado questions the nature of identity and even the act of painting itself as something monstrous, allegorical, or symbolic. Incorporating Classical archetypes alongside a wildly inventive approach to his chosen media, Salgado’s work defies categorization. Recent works include collage, mixed-media, and even hand-dyed and hand-stitched linen and canvas. ”I am interested in how my paintings operate independently from their literal figurative foundation, and how they might deconstruct through colour choices, reduction of forms, and triumph of materiality to become something altogether otherworldly.”

- Beers London

Andrew’s new exhibition at Angell Gallery, Toronto:



October 4–27, 2018

Idiosyncrasies of the Human Race: Interview with Kayla Buium

I am a young artist from Toronto who uses my character the “Nuknuk” to parody the idiosyncrasies of the human race. I have exhibited my work in Toronto, Montreal and Berlin and work as a freelance illustrator in my free time. I am intrigued by the mundane everyday activities that I participate in. From taking the subway to sitting in the laundry mat, I think it’s these everyday activities that make up a lifetime. I try to dig deeper into these moments to try to understand myself and my society at its essence. That is the main goal in my work, and I try to be inconsistent in it in order to get a full scope of the world I live in. 

There is one piece that I worked on recently that has really resonated with me. It is called “TTC” and it highlights our fear of interacting with one another on public transportation. 

I never realized how isolated we are in the city until I visited Bermuda and took a trip on their public buses. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that I was on a bus because it felt more like the car pools my parents organized everyday on my way to gymnastics class. Everyone was talking, laughing, connecting with one another and I assumed it was just a small community, until they invited us into their conversations. It wasn’t weird to talk to strangers. It wasn’t uncomfortable like it is in Toronto on the public subways. In Toronto, anyone who tries to talk to you is declared crazy. And in Bermuda, if you ignored someone you were crazy. In fact, it wasn’t even just Bermuda, it was Costa Rica, it was Fiji. In fact, in Fiji the bus driver would blast party music and the entire bus would be dancing. Why do these developing nations connect in ways that our nation can never do? 

I don’t think we have the potential to change and I don’t necessarily think that that’s a bad thing. We come from different cultures, like how in France they kiss each other on the cheek when they say hello. I’ve tried to bring the friendliness back into the TTC in Toronto. I did a public installation in the subway a few years ago in order to inspire conversation in the subway, and it worked but not anything long term. I’ve tried approaching people and sometimes it results in a nice conversation but it always feels unnatural and quite exhausting. I try to be friendly to the odd normal person who strikes conversations with me on the subway. But even me, a self-aware art student who obsesses with this issue thinks it’s weird. 

I think that transportation has a different purpose in cities. I think it allows us time to be silent and self-reflect in a world where we are always preoccupied by our phones. Suddenly there’s no Wi-Fi or cell service and we are forced to be present. It allows us time to read books. It allows us time to listen to music and watch the world around us. It allows us a thirty-minute nap on the way to work. I really enjoy this transportation time because it allows me to be myself without the interruptions of anyone else.


We love the exploration of "mundane" moments in your work. When did you first gain an interest in observing human behavior and translating it into your art? 

I’ve always loved people watching. Whether it was admiring ultra - alternative people walking around downtown Toronto or trying to guess some stranger’s life story on the subway, I’ve always had a fascination. I don’t remember the exact moment when everything shifted and this fascination translated into my art, but it must have happened when I moved to Berlin. In Berlin, I didn’t have a phone, I don’t speak German and I didn’t have a friend within a few hundred Kilometres. I remember just being really observant to escape my own loneliness. I’d go to bars and draw people who I didn’t have the courage to talk to. The first drawing that was founded on this idea is my piece entitled “Brainwashed”, which takes place in a laundromat. For some reason, I found it so fascinating just sitting and watching the people in there, especially because there were so many colorful faces in my neighborhood. People reading, chain-smoking, talking on the phone. I thought it was very telling of someone’s character how they chose to spend that time. It was the mannerisms of the strangers in the room that orchestrated my time there and I thought it was fascinating how much of impact strangers can have on us.


Tell us what you hope to communicate through your paintings? 

Each of my works communicates an idea of its own. Whether the source is my pessimism toward being able to save the environment, or my observing the antisocial nature of subway passengers. If there was an overarching idea that tied all of my works together, it would be the notion that these works create a sort of autobiography of my life through a series of moments. It tells the story of a young artist in the 20th century who loves and dreams, or mourns the loss of her innocence.

Artist studio nuknuk.jpg

What inspires the imagery and style in which you paint? Tell us how you come up with each piece. 

I’m inspired by so much. Hieronymus Bosch and the whole surrealism movement… Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte… I love the storytelling and imagery of Dr. Seuss. I love street art. I love tattoo culture. Polly Nor is incredible… the list goes on. 

I take these artists and movements and learn from their approach to making art but the content is always unique to me and my experiences. Something I learned from Dali, after reading his memoir, is the notion that I can take certain metaphors I use to explain how I feel and create work from it. For instance, I work at a burger joint and I’m legitimately eating too many burgers - I feel like I’m “slow” and “blobish” because of my overindulgence and lack of self-control. What if I really was a blob, what would that look like? How would I exist in the world? How do I communicate that feeling without saying? It can be quite challenging. 


Describe a typical day in the studio. 

My days in the studio usually begin with me cleaning up from the night before. I usually stay up really late painting and collapse into bed when I can't go on anymore...which results in paint-stained bed sheets and frayed brushes. Come morning I’ll usually go feed my parrot, Schnitzel, and bring her into the studio where she loves to steal my brushes and rip out all the hairs. It’s really nice having her around because I have someone to bounce ideas off of and talk to. She’ll talk back sometimes but usually says something totally unrelated. I never really go to the studio without anything to do. I’m really good at always having an idea of something to make, and I won’t leave until it's done. I go on painting frenzies that can go on for a few days. I’m probably at my happiest when I’m in that state of mind. 

What is the most exciting moment in your art career so far? 

Probably my solo show in Montréal. I thought having a show like that would be a long way down the road for me, but I was invited to exhibit there. I guess being in a room filled with art I had made over the course of 10 months and having people come here just to see my work was truly inspiring. For a moment there I told myself “maybe this whole art thing could really work out.” 

Do you feel art can help us be more present? Share your thoughts on creativity, disconnecting and being mindful in our world. 

I think art can help us be more present but you have to want it. Art in our internet-addicted, consumerist culture is viewed and forgotten very quickly, and I think that if you get caught up in letting that happen it's going to be hard to really tap into that art, be moved by it, gain something from it... I myself am guilty of this habit of scrolling through Instagram and giving an artist 3 seconds to wow me before I keep scrolling. I don't think you can really commit to a compelling inner dialogue in that time.


What are you currently working on and what should we be on the lookout for? 

I find myself mostly experimenting these days. Playing around with gouache and ink. Making comics and faces. I’m trying to push myself to see what I’m capable of. I’m running an art therapy class and organizing an all-girl art show over the next few weeks. Really just focusing on exploring my creative potential and putting myself out into the world.

"Of Centaurs and Men" at Galerie Youn

Montreal, August 30, 2017 – Galerie Youn will open an exhibition featuring Canadian artist Mark Liam Smith on Thursday, September 21, on view until October 21, 2017. Of Centaurs and Men will showcase 24 oil paintings by Smith.

The England-born, Toronto-based artist has been a rising star since he began painting full time in 2015. His background in linguistics has heavily influenced his paintings in that he likens painting to a visual language. In the show Of Centaurs and Men, he uses centaurs, the human-horse hybrids from mythology, to symbolize liminality, a transitional state or conceptual space between dichotomies.

“My paintings aim to expose dichotomies as incomplete by focusing on the liminal position between them. With this body of work, I call into question commonly held dichotomies, such as beautiful or ugly and good or bad. This space in middle of the continuum is where I believe much of our experience is held,” explains Smith.

Smith’s application of paint complements the concept of liminality: the centaurs are represented realistically, whereas the forest settings painterly, making the paintings themselves both realistic and painterly. “I’ve tried to create a place that both exists and does not exist. This superposition of ‘both and neither’ shows the necessity for acknowledging liminality and its rejection of traditional dichotomous thinking,” says Smith.

Gallery owner Juno Youn began representing Smith earlier this year, after several successful group exhibitions. “I was pleased to add Mark Liam Smith to my roster of artists,” says Youn. “His surreal narratives draw the viewer into a world of magical realism. His highly saturated palette, which stems from his colour-blindness, coupled with his themes create fertile ground for discussion—not just about his art, but, more broadly, about the world around us.”

Since 2015, Smith has exhibited at numerous international exhibitions, including SCOPE art fair in Basel, Switzerland, and garnered international recognition by International Confederation of Art Critics and, closer to home, by the Ontario Arts Council and the Federation of Canadian Artists. His paintings have been featured on Hi-Fructose, Boooooom, Bizarre Beyond Belief, among others.

Smith acknowledges the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council in funding this project.


Galerie Youn focuses on building bridges between local, national and international emerging to mid-career contemporary artists. The gallery participates in gallery exhibitions and international art fairs, including, recently, Volta New York and the Seattle Art Fair, and represents more than twenty artists from around the world. Originally founded in 2012 as online gallery Flying Rooster Contemporary Projects, Galerie Youn opened as a brick-and-mortar space in May 2013. Located in the heart of the dynamic and creative Mile End district of Montreal, the gallery hosts a range of group and solo exhibitions throughout the year. Since its opening, Galerie Youn has established itself within the diverse milieu of galleries and art centres in Montreal.

For more images and more information, contact:

Juno Youn
Gallery Owner
Galerie Youn 514-270-8588

Katrina Canedo

Katrina Canedo was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines until immigrating in 1998 with her family to Toronto, Canada. The passion and decision to pursue a career as an artist have been with her for as long as she can remember. Eventually, she attended Seneca College for the Independent Illustration program where she honed her skills in both digital and traditional disciplines. As an emerging Toronto artist, she has displayed her works in multiple local exhibits around Toronto. Mainly an acrylic painter, she’s also performed as a live painter, winning multiple “Art Battles” and competing in the 2016 Toronto finals. Katrina hopes to see the rest of the world and be able to share her work with people around the globe some day.


I suppose you can say I generally portray themes of nature and people (their lives and emotions) to explore the subtle yet evident ways they can often relate to each other. The idea that sometimes it's difficult to express your true self or even relate to the world around you has always been a source of motivation in my art. I’ve always admired how fearlessly expressive surrealism and expressionism can be. Even a concept that seems so visually far out there has the ability to have a very profound yet unconventional observation on life. It's also even better when your audience can resonate with your art. My aim is to inspire people with values that are near and dear to me. Essentially, I’m all about reminding people to have fun and seeing the deeper beauty hidden in everything.

Christine Kim

Christine Kim is a Toronto-based artist who works primarily in cut paper art, carving away the boundaries between illustration, sculpture, and installation. Her work has been included in Paper Play, Paradise of Paper Art and Alchemy: The Art and Craft of Illustration.

Paper constitutes the form and material of experimentation in the mixed media collages of Toronto-based artist Christine Kim. Paper is not only a surface for graphite, ink, and watercolours, but Kim explores the act of drawing by interrogating its materiality through drawing, painting, cutting and folding.

In these cut paper collages, Kim explores her fascination with fleeting shadows, permeable fences, and forest canopies. All act to reveal or obscure figures. Kim presents visual metaphors inspired by fashion and architecture to speak of the relationship between exterior surfaces and introspective landscapes. The paper is used as surface, screen, and shadow to speak of shelter and intimacy.

Mark Liam Smith

Mark Liam Smith (b. 1973, Middlesbrough, England) developed an interest in art at an early age and spent much of his childhood drawing obsessively. After completing three bachelor degrees—Fine Arts (Painting), Science (Physiology), and Arts (Linguistics)—at the University of Saskatchewan, he moved to Paris to continue studying art in some of the world’s greatest museums. After some time, he returned to Canada to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics at McGill University.

Since moving to Toronto in early 2015, Mark has had several exhibitions, notably in Toronto, London, New York, and at the SCOPE Basel art fair in Switzerland. He has been granted the Emerging Artist Award by the Federation of Canadian Artists and featured by Hi-Fructose, Booooooom, and Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, among others.

Mark is represented by Galerie Youn (Montreal), Rouge Gallery (Saskatoon), and 19 Karen Contemporary (Gold Coast, Australia). 

Mark currently lives and works in Toronto.  


This series of paintings, A Day at the Met, examines the subjectivity of perception in art. When we view art, we filter it through our education, experiences, and emotions to derive meaning. An artist's intended meaning will thus have as many nuanced interpretations as there are viewers. This body of work is a meta-statement on the relationship between the artist, the art, and the viewer. 

This series was inspired by my observations of people at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I wondered what these people brought to the art they were observing; specifically, how each interpretation was as unique as the viewer. In my paintings, I show what I imagine to be each viewer’s interpretation of the art they are observing by incorporating surreal elements and highly saturated color.

Because I am color-blind, I long had to rely on my knowledge of color-mixing formulas to recreate skin tones and other local colors. Later in my practice, I realized that local colors served only to restrict my expression. By viewing my color-blindness as a strength rather than as a weakness, I began embracing the use of non-local colors to develop my work. I use non-local colors to exaggerate the idea of subjectivity.

Ester Pugliese

Ester Pugliese is a Toronto-based artist. She graduated from York University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Specialized Honours) in Visual Arts Studio. She spent a year studying abroad in Leeds, UK and has exhibited extensively in Toronto, Brantford and Leeds. Pugliese has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, and her work can be found in private and public collections in North America and Europe, including the Donovan Collection at the University of Toronto. 


Disparate images and ideas swirl through Ester Pugliese's densely layered paintings. Sweeping gestural brushstrokes intermingle with organic life forms, conjuring earthly gardens, romantic floral arrangements or aquatic forests. Half-formed silhouettes and shapes appear submerged in solution or suspended in expansive space. The opaque, fragmented, yet languid forms that float at the surface of the picture plane solidify the sense of looking through a depth of space, and create a dialogue between the surface and the underlying pictorial space. Opacity and luminosity, conscious and unconscious, appearance and private self are concerns of the artist. In overlaying disparate elements, the artist aims to use imagery to work through personal and artistic questions and concerns.