Fans of legendary on-screen tough-guy Charles Bronson will no doubt fall in love with Alex Petrowskys vaguely Lego-man rendition of the Death Wish star. Its a funny, well-rendered representation of the craggy-faced Bronson that taps into the movie marketing craze of action figures and related toys. And its not until your brain connects all the dots that you come to the realization, Wait, why would you commodify such a violent, adult character as a childrens toy? And thats the point where Petrowsky pulls you in -- hows his Charles Bronson any different than the other violent toys marketed to kids? Petrowskys work is on display in Character Development, the new show at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary (3100 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-960-5802 or www.hoffmanlachancefineart.com). Benjie Heu, Dani Kranowitz and Peter Pranschke display new work as well, all of it playing with the idea of a deceptively sweet exterior masking a darker purpose. The show opens with a free 8 p.m.-to-midnight public reception on Friday, September 14, with sound architect Eric Hall providing yet another layer of sweet 'n' sour for your head to go with the innocence and malevolence on the walls. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, and Character Development remains up through Wednesday, October 3.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 14. Continues through Oct. 3, 2007