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Review: Pranschke's witty Band-Aids

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 27, 2010 - In an exhibit that is classic Peter Pranschke, the artist shows the results of two years of frustrating work on a commission to create a double portrait.

The works he managed to produce toward this end are witty, sweet, and would do any Pranschke fan proud. Some have Band-Aids stuck on molded plastic items, some involve paper cut-outs and Band-Aid figures, and some are just Band-Aids, stuck to a surface and doing nothing more than evoking those childhood memories of scrapes and scabs and the chance to wear the adolescent badge of honor that signals a wound honestly earned.

The patrons of the commission have made their choice; the rest of the works are for general sale, and they would make good acquisitions.

For my money, I'd like to take home the pen-and-ink narrative describing the project that graces the wall leading into the gallery. It recounts in cartoon episodes the tortuous process of satisfying the commission, the day-in, day-out frustrations of being a good but insecure artist in demand, of putting your soul up for hire and feeling as if you aren't up to the task.

Ivy Cooper, a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon's art critic. 

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