Zack Rosen: Take Me Back to Happiness

Paintings of Hanlan’s Point Nude Beach

That Summer Feeling, Zack Rosen, 2023

Zack Rosen: Take Me Back to Happiness
Paintings of Hanlan’s Point Nude Beach

Exhibition Dates: March 9 – 14, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, March 10, 6-10 pm
Northern Contemporary Gallery, Toronto

This March, gay Toronto artist Zack Rosen is debuting a series of paintings that celebrate the unparalleled queer freedoms of Hanlan’s Point nude beach. “Take Me Back To Happiness” will be hung at the Northern Contemporary Gallery (420 Roncesvalles Ave.) from March 8th- 14th, with an opening night extravaganza on the 10th.

Hanlan’s Point holds a special place in the Canadian queer heart. Nestled at the back of Toronto Island, it has been a beloved queer meeting spot since the ‘50s and hosted one of Toronto’s first pride celebrations in 1971. The city has officially designated the beach as “clothing optional,” making it the rare government-sanctioned safe space.

The gallery show will capture Hanlans’ anatomical and natural beauty. Inspired by Keith Haring, David Hockney and other gay luminaries, the works span a variety of sizes, painting styles and mediums. A few of the smaller pieces were drawn live at the beach this past summer. Expect a healthy balance between gorgeous beachscapes and male nudes.

Between The Buttons, Zack Rosen, 2023

Named for a haunting club track by DFA Records’ artist Crooked Man, the show captures all the ways that Hanlan’s Point represents an escape from the oppressive modernity of Anthropocene city life. The freedom of nudity, sexual expression and access to nature make it a fleeting and beloved summer destination for Toronto queers.

Good Neightbors, Zack Rosen, 2023

“Take Me Back To Happiness” brings the beach back in the days that summer seems furthest away. The paintings capture sunshine and joy, flirtation and longing, sadness and hope. As the natural world faces unprecedented threats to its long term integrity, “Take Me Back To Happiness” captures a time and place in Toronto queer life that might not last forever but can be enjoyed right now.

More information can be found at the artists’ instagram page or official website, and the artist may be emailed at Promotional support for the show will be provided by Grindr.
Instagram: @ZackRosenArts

In A City I Might Explore, Zack Rosen, 2023

Zack Rosen is an urban pastoral artist and American emigrant who has exhibited works at The Northern Contemporary Gallery, The Gerrard Art Space and Jinks Art Factory. He was arts reporter for The Washington Blade and has written for Out, The Advocate and Huffington Post Gay voices. Best known for alt-queer cultures blog The New Gay — where he got to interview and record song sessions with Canadian musicians like The Hidden Cameras, The New Pornographers and Emily Haines — Rosen currently works as a dog trainer.

Northern Contemporary Gallery
420 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6R 2N2
Instagram @northerncontemporary