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

San Diege Jewish World, “B’Shalom: Body Image, Military History, Baseball Classic, Jewish Political News,” By Donald H. Harrison, March 16, 2023.


San_Diego_Jewish_World_DON_2023SAN DIEGO JEWISH WORLD
B’Shalom: Body Image, Military History, Baseball Classic, Jewish Political News By Donald H. Harrison
March 16, 2023

SAN DIEGO — Kristine Schomaker’s eating disorder had made her feel “othered” since her girlhood. She tried to imagine herself as a slender blonde but when she looked into the mirror, she saw herself as she was, a very large woman. Rather than hide from her physical presence, she decided to embrace it. She invited 59 fellow artists to depict her in the nude. Sculptures, photographs, paintings, and drawings in various media resulted in an exhibition now being shown through April 13 at the Mesa College Art Gallery.




Among the artists who accepted the challenge were Larry and Debby Kline, a Jewish husband-wife team who created “Into the Blue,” a larger-than-life portrait ground into blue plexiglass with a rotary tool. Columns on either side, made of blue masking tape, present Schomaker as a Samson-like figure pulling down the pillars of body-image orthodoxy.

“This is an image of her pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable,” Larry said. “We tried to make an image of her that shows her inner strength instead of her foibles and weaknesses,” Debby added.

The Klines have a studio in Los Angeles and a home in Escondido. They currently are the artists-in-residence at UC San Diego Medical School, and Larry teaches art at Grossmont College and the Design Institute of San Diego. A work by Schomaker in which she posed behind cloudy glass was included in the 2018 “Beyond the Age of Reason” exhibit that the Klines curated at the San Diego Art Institute.

Also in 2018, the Klines served as artists-in-residence at San Diego’s Natural History Museum. In an homage to John James Audubon, they painted birds which since his lifetime have become or are threatened to become extinct as one project linking art and science.


In 2015, the couple curated “Seeing is Believing: A Reinvention of Articles of Faith” at the Lawrence Family JCC. That exhibit came two years after San Diego’s Visual Arts Network selected the Klines, along with James Hubbell, as “Artists of the Year.”



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