The piece I have created for Pride Toronto’s 40th anniversary is a love letter to the past and present of Toronto’s queer community. There is so much important history in this city and I wanted to encapsulate some people and places that helped shape this community and keep the us progressing forward. I wanted to portray those who have fought for us and those who make our community a brighter place by being a part of it. As someone who has only been around for a portion of Toronto’s queer history, I felt it was important to include pivotal events from before my time such as the protests following the bathhouse raids and events I was actually there for such as the 2016 BLM protest. An aim of mine was to show the vibrancy and vivacity that we have, something I take comfort in reminding myself of being that we’ve all been apart for the past year. Creating this piece was a way for me to connect with people I care about, history that has shaped us, and give hope that we will experience all this joy together again soon!
Mitch Duncan (He/Him)
I’m a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in the east end of Toronto. I’m currently studying illustration at OCADU. I love reading comic books, painting, and walking & riding my bike around the city. I am most well known for the posters I make for anything ranging from parties, drag shows, festivals, comedy shows, music events, etc. I love that I have had the opportunity to work with so many friends in the LGBTQI2+ community on some really incredible projects. I feel like my LGBTQI2+ family grows more each year. Besides making gig posters, I love to create weird illustrations, paintings, and make zines.
I would describe the type of work that I produce as surreal, lively, vibrant, expressive and a little bit twisted. I have pulled inspiration from several sources to arrive where I am currently in my art-making journey. Growing up in Toronto and absorbing the essence of the city has been pivotal to me developing my artistic voice. I’m inspired by comics, paintings, history, poster art, pop culture, architecture, colour, queer icons/ancestors/elders, nature, and the modern world.
My first completed comic book entitled “The Sculpture Garden” is a queer sci fi story about self-preservation in an isolating, brutalist city scape. I completed this story a year ago and I will be self-publishing once the pandemic is over.