Best Local Artist

Peter Pranschke

Peter Pranschke has a knack for capturing, in painstakingly rendered pencil snapshots, every vicissitude of life's agonized comedy. Be it the Schnucks checkout line, the aisles of a big-box art store, an anonymous office cubicle, a hospital bed or the standard lineup of smokers outside a gallery opening, the St. Louis native is able to discern a small, ready theater for the deeper and broader implications of the everyday. And the medium often becomes part of the message. In Pranschke's hands, a fallen piece of timber is rescued and accented with tiny colorful nodes; a dollar bill or an onionskin page from the Bible is meticulously cut through with a million rectangular holes; a pink eraser is carved into an abstract sculpture; Band-Aids are pressed into service as to create portraits. But the dexterity, the draftsmanship, the mind-bogglingly nimble imagination — it'd all amount to nothing special were it not for the profound sincerity that infuses Pranschke's work. Through his drawings, assemblages and installations — diminutive or diaphanous though they may be — we discover in enlightening increments what it means to be ruthlessly true to oneself.

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