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The Old Ways Are Better 

By day, Ken Bini paints the interior of houses for a living. His passion, however, is painting their exteriors. Entranced by the urban beauty of the old riverfront structures, the brick two- and four-family buildings that stud south city like stubby red ziggurats and other rumpled-yet-lovely places of the early parts of our town, Bini treats these spaces nobly in his paintings. The built environment is his subject of choice for his realistic landscapes, which bespeak a truth just a little bit grittier than their pastoral antecedents. A TV-antenna viewpoint of the city on winter's day captures the palely diffuse light of midafternoon clouds, cars and Dumpsters huddled under clean white snowy capes, the denuded trees in a distant yard echoing the slightly cockeyed telephone pole that anchors the center of the piece. The everyday beauty of the city is revealed anew in Bini's work; this is the St. Louis we know and take for granted at times. My Way's Good Too, a selection of Ken Bini's recent paintings, is shown from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight only in Duveen's Basement Fine Art Gallery (2716 Cherokee Street;

Fri., March 26, 2010

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