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Best Local Artist 

Daniel Raedeke

St. Louis' best local artist doesn't work the conventional gallery circuit. Daniel Raedeke made it a practice to inhabit this town's art marginalia, showing his work at Kroma Contemporary Living (a furniture store) and Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, and making his paintings in the Carondelet studio he's rehabbing with his wife Dionna. But he has also made inroads in Chicago, showing recently in Art Chicago 2003 and at the Byron Roche Gallery. Raedeke's works are irresistible -- glossy, gloopy, candy-color paints on fiberboard that seem to release endorphins directly into the brain. His imagery ranges from sketchy human figures to colorful abstract blobs to big glossy bumps riding on the painting's surface. The works are low-tech and futuristic at once, like paintings of the Internet or cartoons on TV. And they certainly deliver on Raedeke's slogan: "Painting a better future for you."

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