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

Art and Cake LA, “The Bird Is The Word,” by Kristine Schomaker, Jan. 18, 2022.

Art and Cake, “The Bird Is The Word,” by Kristine Schomaker 1/18/2022

Debby and Larry Kline “Great Auk from The series, Project Extinction” Ink on paper
We have a series of work based on James J. Audubon’s giant Double Elephant Folio, Birds of America. Audubon documented as many American birds that he could find in his lifetime. He was an avid hunter but appreciated the diversity, abundance and beauty of birds. He often would kill the birds, position them in such a manner that they looked alive and then document them in drawings and paintings. He often failed as many of the images look awkward, staged and stiff. His book, completed in 1838, still became a resource for study and enjoyment of birds throughout the decades. His paintings were often completed by a team of craftspeople and the folio is now regarded as one of the world’s most valuable book, which once sold in London for over 11 million dollars. We picked up his pen and have followed with images of birds that are now extinct. Because of hunting, casual sport and loss of habitat the birds are disappearing rapidly. Through a residency with he San Diego Natural History Museum we learned that many of these birds still exist for study, but only rarely in the drawers of history museums. We used photographs that we took of their collection and incorporated them into our images. Building from Audubon’s original imagery and the unnatural positioning of birds, we incorporated images of the dead birds. complete with toe tags (Museum ID number, etc.) into to the new cautionary images of extinction. In other images we include the horrific stories of the birds’ last stand.

 

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