The lament of the rhinestone cowboy. This solo show by St. Louis-born, New York-based artist Larry Krone collects performance memorabilia from a self-mythologized country singer (Krone) whose lyric specialty is lost love and whose star status is perpetually in memoriam. Krone customizes beer-company-logoed mirrors with elements of cross-stitch embroidery, paints "The Story of My Life" on a faux tchotchke, scrawls "I Will Always Love You" in the blue skies of plastic-wrapped souvenir photos of covered bridges and crashing waves. The show's centerpiece, entitled Then and Now (Latch Hook Hay Bales)
, is three massive hay bales fashioned out of discarded yarn. Gingham kerchiefs draped across the objects read "Don't Touch," lending the tableau a Grandma's China Cabinet cheap-but-cherished air. The exhibition's title is its key conundrum: None of the pieces depicts an "I" — save for one: a photo at the entrance that depicts Krone posing like Marilyn Monroe amid his bales and quilts, wearing only a white cowboy hat and multicolored hand-stitched briefs. Like the work itself, the image is at once rawly vulnerable and defiantly artificial — teetering at the precipice of pathos, clinging only to the handhold of ironic self-awareness. His eyes meet the camera dead-on, and their message need not be spoken: It's an over-the-top world, and access to its elusive heart requires a VIP badge. Through May 26 at PSTL Gallery at Pace Framing, 3842 Washington Boulevard; 314-531-4304 or www.paceframing.com
. Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
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