Thursday, October 30, 2008

Michael Behle doesn't know what to say or see

I know the work of famous artists by stumbling into museums. I know the work of local artists by stumbling into bars and meeting artists and then eventually getting invited to their shows.

Michael Behle is a local artist. He has a show coming up at Thomas Jefferson School (aka TJ), a prep boarding school in South County not far from Laumeier Sculpture Park.

How do I know this? I stumbled into a bar and ran into a local artist, Greg Edmondson (whom I first met many years ago stumbling into a bar). Behle was sitting there at the bar with him. They invited me to a show Behle was co-curating that featured Edmondson. It paired St. Louis artists with Chicago artists; I attended the opening and wrote about it.

Now, Edmondson (who curates the space at TJ) is showing Behle. Call it a mutual admiration drinking buddyship, or the gig swap phenomenon gone visual. It's all good, except when the gig doesn't get swapped back, right? Like we thought maybe the St. Louis artists were going to get to show in Chicago, just like the Chicago artists got to show in St. Louis.

Brian Henneman of The Bottle Rockets said it best when he was still driving Chicken Truck. "I scratched your back, but I still got my itch." Anyway.

Behle solo show of recent work opens with box wine and brilliant, fidgety, pimply prep boarding school students 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 at The Visual Arts Gallery at TJ, on OSuth Lindbergh in the Sunset Hills and stays open through Feb. 6, 2009 (space open 1-5 p.m. M-F and by appointments on weekend by bumping into Edmondson or Behle at a bar).

Lost on the way? Want to sock your kid away into a really impressive prep boarding school that is cranking out worldbeaters when it's not showing exciting new local art? Call (314) 843-4151.

p.s. As the opening falls on the anniversary of the birth of my dear wife and the mother of my child, and as I endeavor to remain nondivorced, I most certainly will not be consuming any of the boxed wine or Edmondson witticisms on Nov. 7.


The image, above, will be in the show. It's titled I don't know what to say, I don't know what to see (mix media on board, 20" x 24" 2008).

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