jay isaac's new works would be more at home on the covers of science fiction novels in a tacky Yonge Street bookstore than on the white walls of Petro's relocated gallery on the trendy Queen West strip. Isaac's world is pure fantasy, perhaps depicting undiscovered corners of the ocean floor or faraway galaxies. Maybe both.
Pinks and purples dominate the large canvases that wallpaper the street-level front room. Orchid-like flowers float in space. Misty backgrounds defy depth perception. Nothing seems grounded. You're lost in a swirling world of pink where dashes of purple band together to form stuff that looks a lot like coral. You are either liberated or hopelessly trapped in this bizarre netherworld.
The candy-store paint colours are repeated in the matte clay and glossy sculptures upstairs. Along one wall, a shelf supports a number of sticks that protrude into the air like barren trees stripped of their light-seeking branches. Clay clumps are glommed along the lengths of the thin reeds, creating an impression of post-apocalyptic vegetation.
Along a second wall is a series of glossy sculptures that are more substantial than their waif-like neighbours. Standing out from the row of shiny cactuses is a charming piece covered in multicoloured warts.
Isaac's is an intriguing sci-fi vision.
Jay Isaac at Paul Petro (980 Queen West) to April 6. 416-979-7874. Rating: NNN