Larry and Debby Kline artists and provocateurs – installation, performances, and other works

Reviews
San Diego Jewish World, “Art to inspire, raise questions, and perhaps anger,” by Donald H. Harrison, October 23, 2018.
San Diego Jewish World, “Art to inspire, raise questions, and perhaps anger,” by Donald H. Harrison, October 23, 2018.

SAN DIEGO – The contemporary art exhibit, “Beyond the Age of Reason,” curated by Larry and Debby Kline, is nearing the end of its run at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. If you want to be intrigued, or even possibly enraged, by various artists’ visions of religion and spirituality, you’ll need to get to the museum space before the exhibit closes on October 31st.

La Jolla Light,”20 artists reveal their beliefs in potent exhibit at Balboa Park,” By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, October 15, 2018.
La Jolla Light,"20 artists reveal their beliefs in potent exhibit at Balboa Park," By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, October 15, 2018.

The myth-master is Eleanor Antin, one of the founding members of UC San Diego’s Visual Arts Department, and an internationally-admired artist, or as the Klines put it: “an artist of the world.” Shown here is one of the pieces from her “Roman Allegories,” a series of large-scale photos staged in Del Mar and La Jolla that re-envision the last days of an ancient civilization remarkably similar to ours.

Art and Cake LA, “Dialectic of Being and Becoming at 18th Street Arts Center,” By Genie Davis, October 1, 2018.
Art and Cake LA, “Dialectic of Being and Becoming at 18th Street Arts Center,” By Genie Davis, October 1, 2018.

Debby and Larry Kline’s lush black and white works, the phrase “3 EYES” running vertically between two images, one of which features the eyes of a potato, while drones circle a rather apocalyptic landscape; the other a man with a singularly long lensed telescope or perhaps a periscope, pointed down, with an eye at its lens. The frame above the work features eye-like shapes. We are encouraged to look within, and to truly “see” our way of life. Beautifully, realistically detailed, the humor and absurdist quality of the subjects create a rich dichotomy.

San Diego Union Tribune, “Beliz Iristay finds that in America, ‘the artist part of me has really flourished,’” by Martina Schimitschek, September 16, 2018
San Diego Union Tribune, “Beliz Iristay finds that in America, 'the artist part of me has really flourished,'” by Martina Schimitschek, September 16, 2018

After the failed military coup of 2016 in Turkey, Iristay designed 55 rehals (the x-shaped bookrests for the Quran) and filled them with small minarets. Titled “Oku | Read,” the rehals are covered with military cards used by soldiers to keep track of their service days. The translucent cast-resin minarets are in jumbled disarray. The piece, part of the San Diego Art Institute’s exhibition “Beyond the Age of Reason,” warns of ignorance.

Art and Cake LA, “Beyond the Age of Reason at the San Diego Art Institute,” by Genie Davis, September 13, 2018.
Art and Cake LA, “Beyond the Age of Reason at the San Diego Art Institute,” by Genie Davis, September 13, 2018.

“Myth is open to interpretation, and unfortunately, so are truths, but they are still the underpinnings of religious belief. The nuances of belief can either unite or divide individual, families and nations. The nuances can lead to peace or more often, war,” the Klines relate. “We believe -pun intended – that the artists reflect the larger populace that struggles with the concept of belief.”

Art and Cake LA, “Final Round Up: Studio System 2 at Torrance Art Museum,” By Lawrence Gipe, August 8, 2018.
Art and Cake LA, “Final Round Up: Studio System 2 at Torrance Art Museum,”  By Lawrence Gipe, August 8, 2018.

Conceptual power-couple Debby and Larry Kline worked on five different projects during SS2 including the crowd-pleasing Poor, Poor Artist, which asked the public for stock tips (the Klines had invested their $500 stipend from the residency into the market).

Smithsonian Magazine, “The Dispossessed,” by Anna Diamond, July 2018.
Smithsonian Magazine, “The Dispossessed,” by Anna Diamond, July 2018.

Although this article was not specifically written about “Beyond the Age of Reason,” Smithsonian’s feature article on Wayne Martin Belger and his “Us and Them” project was published just days before our exhibition opened. Since the “Beyond the Age of Reason,” exhibition is the first time that “Us and Them” has been publicly exhibited, we felt it important to include the article here. To read the complete story, please visit SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE, “The Dispossessed,” by Anna Diamond, July 2018.

Art and Cake, “The Candy Store and Something Extra at Shoebox Projects,” By Genie Davis, June 24, 2018.
Art and Cake, "The Candy Store and Something Extra at Shoebox Projects," By Genie Davis, June 24, 2018.

The collaborative couple have created an astonishing installation work that is both political and beautiful; it is experiential and a passionate protest. Viewers here are participants shopping in this candy store, searching for a cure not just for our own sicknesses, but that of society.

Art and Cake, “Studio Systems II at Torrance Art Museum: Half-Time,” by Larry Gipe, June 18, 2018.
Art and Cake, "Studio Systems II at Torrance Art Museum: Half-Time," by Larry Gipe, June 18, 2018.

Debby and Larry Kline take on the social and environmental issues of the day in a variety of projects including Tiny Revolutions (pictured here) – small pencil on paper works that pack a big punch. A chalkboard on site lists the myriad pieces that are underway.

San Diego Jewish World, “Science meets art at the Natural History Museum,” By Donald H. Harrison, March 26, 2018.
San Diego Jewish World, "Science meets art at the Natural History Museum," By Donald H. Harrison, March 26, 2018.

Artists Larry and Debby Kline have been involved in a pair of collaborations with scientists, including a current engagement as artists in residence at San Diego’s Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, where they are updating the work of 19th-century ornithologist John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” portfolio.

Diversions LA, “Infinite Content: Ceramic Stunners,” Nov. 29, 2017.
Diversions LA, “Infinite Content: Ceramic Stunners,” Nov. 29, 2017.

With media that shifts depending upon the project they undertake, the pair have used everything from salt to Israeli mud, ceramics, foam, and cement to shape their works. “It is the process of experimentation that leads to truly amazing things in the studio,” they attest. Dealing with subjects both political, social, and humane, their witty, pointed, and above all, graceful, work is a conversation with the viewer.

voiceofsandiego.org, “Innovative UCSD Program Aims to Draw Compassion Out of Future Doctors,” by Kinsee Morlan, October 16, 2017.
voiceofsandiego.org, “Innovative UCSD Program Aims to Draw Compassion Out of Future Doctors,” by Kinsee Morlan, October 16, 2017.

Some medical students find drawing bodies more intimate and overwhelming than dissecting them. It’s part of UCSD School of Medicine’s artist-in-residency program, which has inspired similar endeavors at med schools across the world. Debby and Larry Kline are the new artists-in-residence at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

La Jolla Light, “In an ‘Extra-Ordinary Collusion’ Art/Science join forces for exhibit in Balboa Park,” by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, June 15, 2017.
La Jolla Light, “In an ‘Extra-Ordinary Collusion’ Art/Science join forces for exhibit in Balboa Park,” by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, June 15, 2017.

Navlakha uses algorithms to study similarities between biological and engineered networks, hoping to learn how to interrupt the progression of disease. The Klines use sensors to track which artworks in the exhibit hold visitors’ attention longest. Their installation includes video images of traffic patterns, networks of slime molds, herds of Pokemon Go players, and the artists, along with comfortable seating.

Picked RAW Peeled, “June Round-UP,” by Patricia Frischer, June 18, 2017.
Picked RAW Peeled, “June Round-UP,” by Patricia Frischer, June 18, 2017.

I am not even going to try to explain the relationship and subjects of all these collaborations between artists and scientist. Works about cancer and aging were prevalent. Some of the artists developed a great connection and collaboration. others were truly just inspired by the research of the scientists. But the quality of the artists chosen to participate was so high, that the show is a winner.

San Diego Home and Garden Lifestyles, “A Fine Line: The Force of Fields,” by Ramin Skibba, June 2017.
San Diego Home and Garden Lifestyles, "A Fine Line: The Force of Fields," by Ramin Skibba,  June 2017.

Artists collaborated with scientists from the Salk Institute for works to be included in the exhibition titled Extra-Ordinary Collusions at San Diego Art Institute. Debby and Larry Kline learn[ed] about plant symmetry and fractals from Saket Navlakha.

Picked RAW Peeled, “Reuse Recreate Reimagine, Second Time Around at CCAE,” by Patricia Frischer, May 9, 2017.
Picked RAW Peeled, "Reuse Recreate Reimagine, Second Time Around at CCAE," by Patricia Frischer, May 9, 2017.

We understand Larry and Debby Kline stepped in when a curator dropped out for the Reuse Recreate Reimagine and they did a stunning job of pulling together an exciting group of artists in this museum level exhibition.

La Jolla Light, “Recycled art exhibits shine at California Center for the Arts,” by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, May 1, 2017
La Jolla Light, “Recycled art exhibits shine at California Center for the Arts,” by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, May 1, 2017

Curator of the 3Rs exhibition is Debby Kline — half of a dynamic art duo with her husband, Larry — who was called in to organize the show at the 11th hour, when the previous curator suddenly departed. No stranger to the museum, Debby had worked there in the mid-1990s, even doing a stint as Interim Director. Besides working on the new Alchemist installation and teaching art at Design Institute and UCSD Medical School, Debby managed to step into the curator’s role and assemble an eye-popping show in record time.

The Artist’s Odyssey, “Artists and Provocateurs Debby and Larry Kline,” by Barbarella Fokos, March 30, 2017.
 The Artist’s Odyssey, “Artists and Provocateurs Debby and Larry Kline,” by Barbarella Fokos, March 30, 2017.

We created “Cacophony and Utterances,” a participatory poem in two parts based on the artist’s own works. The first reading took place in the Getty Center theater, with hundreds of participants each reading one of five of David’s poems simultaneously. Through his words, a cacophonous wall of sound filled the theater.

Voice of San Diego, “The Most Memorable Acts of Protest Art at the Border,” by Kinsee Morlan, February 26, 2017.
Voice of San Diego, “The Most Memorable Acts of Protest Art at the Border,” by Kinsee Morlan, February 26, 2017.

There’s been an uptick in art projects happening at the border now that President Donald Trump is in office. With so much attention on the border, it’s worth taking a quick look at some of the art that’s attempted to tackle the prickly issues surrounding it. Here are 20 instances of gutsy, controversial art that has explored the border.

La Jolla Light, “David Antin’s Words Live On: Hundreds pay tribute to local poet at The Getty Center,” by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, Feb. 17, 2017.
La Jolla Light, “David Antin's Words Live On: Hundreds pay tribute to local poet at The Getty Center,” by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, Feb. 17, 2017.

Artists Debby and Larry Kline called for audience participation in “Cacophony,” asking everyone to read out loud, and at the same time, a poem of Antin’s folded inside their programs. Each piece was different, and the blend of voices created a grand orchestration of his work.

Modern Luxury, “7 Top Art Influencers,” by Angela Ashman, December 1, 2016
Modern Luxury, “7 Top Art Influencers,” by Angela Ashman, December 1, 2016

Continually engaged artists are Debby and Larry Kline, who find constant ways to impress and nurture the arts here, and Marcos Ramírez ERRE, who, since his first inSite participation in 1994, has astounded the art world with his historic and political approaches.

San Diego Downtown News, “Loving literature: Balboa Park organizations pay homage to author Roald Dahl,” By Dave Fidlin, Sept. 2, 2016
San Diego Downtown News, “Loving literature: Balboa Park organizations pay homage to author Roald Dahl,” By Dave Fidlin, Sept. 2, 2016

Murphy has commissioned two San Diego-based artists to create designs for the two Dahl stories being performed for the StoryBox program. Samantha Jean Wilson has created artwork for “The Enormous Crocodile,” while Debby Kline and Larry Kline have assembled imagery for “The Magic Finger.”

El Mexicano, “Rumbo a Happening EN EL VALLE,” by Josue Israel P. Camacho, Sept. 2016
El Mexicano, "Rumbo a Happening EN EL VALLE," by Josue Israel P. Camacho, Sept. 2016

El Mexicano, Coverage of The Kline’s Installation at Happening en el Valle, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, September 2016

San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, “A Fine Line: Collaborating Couples,” by Pat Launer, July 2016
San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, "A Fine Line: Collaborating Couples," by Pat Launer, July 2016

“We deal with serious issues – health, finance, social issues. But we make them a lot more palatable if we first make people laugh. That duality characterizes our work: the beautiful first; then the twisted blade.”