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

The Candy Store
The Candy Store at San Diego Mesa College and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Art, San Francisco, CA.

The Candy Store at San Diego Mesa College and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Art, San Francisco, CA.


“Anything goes in The Candy Store (La dulcería): an installation that simultaneously attracts and repels viewers, exposes the inherent conflicts in the international healthcare industry, and the legalities and illegalities in the world of pharmaceuticals.”  -

“The added facet of a drug-smuggling tunnel transformed into a cultural venue transformed into a drug store makes the project even more significant, meaningful, timely and edgy.” -Pasadena / San Gabriel Valley News Journal

“The highlight of the store is a large collection of Egyptian-style canopic jars, each labeled with a drug of choice. If you purchase a canopic jar, one may rest easy knowing that the essence of the industry graces each vessel.” –

“Debby and Larry Kline investigate the liminal state between poison and medicine, existence and non-existence, healing and hurting.” – Mesa College Museum Studies program for “Composite Parts : A Heterogenous Study”

“Bless you AND your Candy Store.” – Jonathan Gams (Hardpress Editions)


Medical Mastaba Ferris Wheel and It's Only Recreational (carousel.)

Medical Mastaba Ferris Wheel and It’s Only Recreational (carousel.)



The Candy Store acknowledges the trend toward self-diagnosis and treatment due to rising healthcare costs by providing medicinal candies and other objects with prescription pharmaceuticals incorporated into them as art media.  Many objects, for example, are ceramic works with medicines baked into the glazes.  These inconsumable medicinal talismans are a welcome addition to the panoply of healthcare choices and are guaranteed to meet or exceed FDA standards for safety or effectiveness.

The Candy Store opening

The Candy Store opening at Mesa College, San Diego, CA. (Photo by Jewell Goode)







In alarming numbers, those with limited access to medical care have turned to self-diagnosis and medication, often crossing the borders in search of affordable drugs.  While large segments of the population lack health insurance, the privileged are often over-medicated, using “mind focusing” drugs to enhance test scores and relying on pharmaceuticals as treatment for conditions once held as normal variations in personality and temperament.  The Candy Store is a natural extension of these trends, providing greater access to medication, through the placebo effect.




Ceramic objects with medicines baked into the glazes.

Ceramic objects with medicines baked into the glazes.


Canopic Jars
Ceramic, glaze and medication

Each jar is labeled with the medicine that is ground into the glaze.  The jar is fashioned using symbols that represent the effects of the medication.  Medication for pain and inflammation may be indicated by the addition of legs or hands protruding from the jars.   Other jars display the mind altering effects of powerful painkillers through the addition of surreal elements.  The jars are also inspired by ancient Egyptian canopic jars, used to store the stomach, intestines, heart and lungs prior to the mummification process.  The artists encourage people to create their own rituals using the jars.


The Candy Store - Tobacco Teddy Bears



Tobacco Teddy Bears

The tobacco teddy bears are wry commentaries on cigarette marketing and the search for younger consumers as loyal clientele die off.   They are sold in cigar boxes, which use beautiful graphics to add desirability to tobacco products.



Candies with medicines mixed into the glazes

Candies with medicines mixed into the glazes






Medicinal Candy
Ceramic, glaze and medication

The candies are inconsumable.  Each piece of ceramic candy contains trace elements of a commercial grade medication, which has been carefully extracted and incorporated into the glaze.  The color of the glaze indicates the medications which include Amoxicillin, Vioxx, Ultram and Vicodin.  It is notable that Vioxx, one of the “active ingredients” included in this box, has been removed from the market due to a reassessment of the potential dangers posed by this drug (which sometimes resulted in death.)   The notoriety of this recall has brought into question the marriage between the regulatory arm of the US government and the pharmaceutical industry.

Blinged-Out Medicine Bags

Blinged-Out Medicine Bags
















Medicine Bags
Animal hide, synthetic cord, rhinestones

A contemporary twist on Native American shamanic containers, made to hold individual Medicines/Candy.  May be used to create one’s own rituals to ward off illness and can be worn around the neck as a talisman.











Medical Scrubs
Cotton (size XL)

These scrubs have The Candy Store Logo and can be worn as a statement of support for the Candy Store’s message.

Medical Lab Coats
Cotton (size XL)

Each coat has a unique image on the back and reflects the pharmaceutical industry.  The front includes an embroidered logo for the Candy Store, the reverse is an image created in rhinestones.

  1. Golden winged caduceus with inkjet transfer and rhinestones.
  2. Two-toned Rhinestone Rx.  Marketing is EVERYTHING.
  3. Caduceus with dollar sign snake.  Pharmaceuticals are big business.
  4. Physician skull with halo and stethoscope.  A reminder of our mortality.


The Candy Store at Agitprop

The Candy Store

The video portion of The Candy Store is a shameless marketing pitch.  It will run on The website until the end of November in an attempt to help fund the creation of this exhibition and to sell products/artworks.  The exhibition video incorporates vintage cartoons and commercials celebrating the joy of cigarette smoking and contemporary FDA recall messages.

Candy apples
Ceramic, glaze, medication, paper

The apples are a symbol of temptation. Some apples have been bitten, indicating that a customer has succumbed to enticement.


We wish to thank the following patrons for funding our campaign.  As a result of their generosity, The Candy Store exhibition travelled to Tijuana, Mexico, for a solo exhibition at La Casa del Tunel  (The House of the Tunnel.)

Isabelle Wasserman

Janice Klein

Andrea Villa

Manny Macias

Robert A. Yassin

Tessie Bersamin

Mark Kline

Susan Royce

Louise Kline

Joan Sobel

Annette Laing

Ronald Logan

John Highkin

Virginia Lukei

Jan Bell

William Scott

Hilary Sinberg

Monika Hseu

Jonathan Rossall

Debra Wilbur

Vivien Ressler

Larry and Debra Poteet


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