Massimo Guerrera and Colin Zaug at Mercer Union (37 Lisgar) to October 18. 416-536-1519. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
At Mercer Union, the match between front space artist Massimo Guerrera and backspace artist Colin Zaug is nearly perfect. Guerrera takes the art-as-kindergarten trend and takes it to a higher level, where sharing, learning with friends and making all kinds of weird stuff together becomes an obsession worth skipping nap-time for. The gallery's front space is strewn with drawings, photos and sculptures, resembling a poor cleaning job more than an installation.
The art is oddly interesting, but the process it unveils is the real focus here. Guerrera works with friends to create all these pieces, leaving his work with surrogate parents and visiting it from time to time to see its progress. Through it all he sketches and photographs the bizarre transformations that occur not only to the objects, but also to the people involved. It's a magical experience.
Colin Zaug has created a pair of works that are fanciful illusions. A landscape (reflected off a windshield) is printed on a large hanging screen. The serenity of the image is disturbed by an intense light source that insistently pierces the material.
The other piece seems to be a pure white ball on one side. From the opposite angle, the inner workings are revealed, and what appeared to be a smooth solid is actually a stack of carved wood objects, including a chandelier and chairs, covered with chicken wire and foam. It's a thing of beauty.