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

Scribble08, “The Klines @ ArtExpo,” by Mark Murphy, August 9, 2014



















































































































































































































































































Debby & Larry Kline’s Think Tank
Think Tank marked the half way point during a busied 2014 for the Juggling Klines. A fitting name for this tireless contemporary art duo, Debby and Larry Kline, who earned an Emmy, dashed off to Paris and juggling their demanding schedule.

Recently, Debby and Larry were featured at ArtExpo in San Diego where they built a quarter scale military tank adorned with real stories featuring local Veterans. I am honored with the opportunity to interview two inspired contemporaries who consistently evolve their work, no matter the genre: performance, sculpture, painting, drawing, assemblage and teaching.

Mark Murphy: What did you earn your Emmy nod for earlier this year?

Debby & Larry Kline: First we should say that all credit, gratitude, congratulations (and the Emmy) goes to the folks at ArtPulse TV (Barbarella Fokos, David Fokos, and videographer/editor Giovanni DiGiacomo) for having the vision to produce this series and do it so well. Episode 15, featured us doing a live performance of “My Dinner with the Klines,” won an Emmy in the Arts/Entertainment – Program category. We created a piece while dining at Rudford’s Restaurant in North Park. We loved the way that Giovanni shot the piece, taking time to get all the details of the space on video! Very cool and thoughtful. Our hats are off to them.
Mark Murphy: What types of projects have you been working on over the past months?

Debby & Larry Kline: Things really got quite busy for us after we won the San Diego art prize in 2013. This was followed up immediately with a solo show at Mesa College Art Gallery and a large installation of The Candy Store at Art San Diego International Art Fair. We had two concurrent exhibitions earlier this year with the San Diego Art Prize exhibition at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library and the “Prep School – Apocalyptic Visions and Survival Scenarios” exhibition at Torrance Art Museum (TAM). These were both large installations and it was all new work. The Athenaeum show debuted “Call and Response and Response,” a series of collaborative drawings with a performative aspect and we were thrilled that the Athenaeum acquired a second piece of ours for their permanent collection. TAM debuted the “Post-Apocalyptic Coffee House” which will be featured at the San Diego Art Institute’s “Beyond Limits” show in October. Some of Larry’s early work is currently in an exhibition at the Indiana State Museum, and of course we have a large installation at ArtExpoSD, curated by Mark Murphy, featuring Think Tank. And we are currently discussing traveling possibilities with some of these works to other institutions. In 2015, we’ll have a solo exhibition at LA Artcore and are also curating a show for the Gotthelf Gallery in La Jolla, those are on our minds too.
Mark Murphy: Describe Think Tank, and is it possible to include one or two of the actual stories?

Debby & Larry Kline: The tank is a quarter scale model of an M1 tank made of acid free foam core. The piece was created for the Comic Con crowd, so we have incorporated our version of cartoon imagery and format. The perimeter of the room displays tank tread prints that we pulled from a WWII Sherman Tank along with a clearance letter from a colonel in the National Guard giving us permission to ink the tank. We have gathered stories from those who have served in the military and transcribed them into text and cartoons, which makes them more relatable and honors the experiences of these superheroes. The result is a learning and sharing process. For us as artists, we learned a great deal about the motivations and lives of those who have joined the military. Generally, it is difficult for individuals to discuss what transpired while they were serving and it was sometimes difficult to obtain substantive stories. We are appreciative that so many trusted us and shared their lives with us, not knowing exactly what we would do with their accounts.
Two memorable stories are related to preparations for chemical warfare: A soldier in Iraq who was so starved for fresh food that he shoved a sandwich into his gas mask before he ran for the bunker. His comrades were terrified because he was unresponsive, but he was actually feasting. (detail, top left and above) Another drawing tells of a soldier who accidentally tore her chemical weapons suit and was pacified by a Master gunnery sergeant who told her that he was repairing it with a “special tape.” This, of course, turned out to be duct tape. (detail, top right)

Mark Murphy: Will Think Tank grow over time? What are you hoping to celebrate with Think Tank?

Debby & Larry Kline: We intentionally left space on the tank for additional stories, so as the work moves from location to location, it will change and grow. Many of our artworks are participatory, and we relish the unanticipated results. We may begin an idea using our own opinions, but allowing others to share gives them a voice and diminishes the disconnect between art and the public. Think Tank, along with many of our works, celebrates dialog and creates an event that encourages a vast, diverse group to communicate their motivations, fears and dreams.

Mark Murphy: Thank you for the kind exchange Debby and Larry. You can learn more about the Juggling Klines featuring their vision and artistry. You can also experience Debby and Larry at the final ArtExpo event held at the Wonder Bread Factory, Thursday, July 14 from 6-8PM on floor two.

Posted 14 hours ago by mark murphy ; Labels: #ArtExpoSD ArtPulseTV Barberella Fokos Debby and Larry Kline Mark Murphy Art Interview the juggling klines Think Tank

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