It's not all that unusual this time of year to see a big fat guy walk by wearing a red suit. But rarely do you see just a big fat red suit walk by — so take advantage of Jimmy Kuehnle's appearance in town. The performance artist (and St. Louis native) is currently wrapping up his Inflatable Suit Performance Tour, and he visits the Gateway Arch (707 North First Street; www.jimmykuehnle.com) today at noon (unless the weather's bad; then he'll visit on Saturday, December 19), and yes, "inflatable suit" means pretty much what you think it does. Kuehnle creates soft sculpture suits powered by twelve-volt blowers (similar to those yard inflatable you see in finer neighborhoods) with names such as Big Red and You Wear What I Wear, steps inside them and then strolls through the city. Why? Because Kuehnle believes that art should exist outside the gallery setting, and he wants people to talk with him or with each other. And also, Kuehnle freely admits, because the spectacle is absurd. Admission is free, and if you can't make it to the Arch at noon, keep an eye out for a bouncing thing somewhere downtown throughout the afternoon.
Fri., Dec. 18, 2009