Shaan Syed at Zsa Zsa Gallery (962 Queen West) to February 14. 416-536-3814. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
rising star shaan syed lives for playful pleasures. In his most recent solo show, he presents a series of small sketch-like paintings of the little events in our lives -- making toast, running around the track, playing hockey at night. I favour the grid of inky black works where Syed sketches nocturnal urban scenes peopled by barely rendered jellybean-like human figures.
Painting Polaroid-like images with oil on masonite, the artist captures our exertions on the playing field, in the gymnasium and bedroom. All action is wee, cloistered and tightly framed, as in a Super-8 film.
In fact, Syed's effort smells like homemade cinema and can be read as a storyboard of little scenarios.
It turns out to be a lucid form of speech. Low-key, but very confident and engaging.