Debby & Larry Kline

Artists’ Statement:

We use our art to make people think differently by posing provocative questions, challenging preconceptions and playing with context.  Humor softens the blow. Our media varies from project to project. We often gravitate toward media with which we are less familiar as experimentation leads to amazing things in the studio.  We might work with traditional sculptural media or explore the potential of materials such as fluorescent light bulbs, tobacco, salt, prescription medication, mud, foam, cement and ketchup. Our subjects range from environmental issues to civic dialogue and social justice.

We also believe that one person can change the world and we, of course, have the added impact of being a collaborative team. Art has the ability to both engage and provide viewers with avenues to see the world through someone else’s eyes. When we can truly visualize an idea, we are more apt to understand it. Our work provides commentary to our times, through works of ambitious scale and concept. While we begin intellectually, our work often has some element that pulls viewers in on a gut level, using aesthetics or humor. Once a viewer is connected on this visceral level, they can begin to engage in the conversation. We have watched soldiers break down and cry while experiencing our works such as, The Game at Hand and PEACES. This is not an unusual response as viewers are often touched by our content and taken off-guard by our unusual and powerful methods of presentation.

Artists’ Bio:

Debby and Larry Kline are collaborative artists, whose works have been featured in many solo exhibitions, including Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (San Francisco), California Center for the Arts Museum, La Casa del Tunel Art Center (Tijuana), Southwestern College Art Gallery, UCSD Cross Cultural Center Gallery, Mesa College Art Gallery and Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. Group exhibitions include Indiana State Museum, Torrance Art Museum and Museum on the Seam (Israel), which involved traveling to Jerusalem and creating a one ton adobe structure on the roof of the museum as part of an exhibition of international environmental artists. They participated in The Center for Land Use Interpretation's residency program through a grant from UCIRA and were featured artists at Art San Diego 2013 and 2015. In addition to coverage in mainstream periodicals such as Utne and Orion, book credits include “The Artists Guide,” by Jackie Battenfield, “Design and Ethics: Reflections on Practice,” by Emma Felton, Oksana Zelenko and Suzi Vaughan, as well as their own artist-made book “My Dinner with The Klines.” They have been awarded three grants from The Gunk Foundation, NY, and grants from Potrero Nuevo Fund, San Francisco, and Center for Cultural Innovation, Los Angeles. They were awarded the 2013 San Diego Art Prize and Established Artist Grant, which recognizes the work of some of the most accomplished artists in the San Diego/Tijuana region. They were also featured in an Emmy Award winning episode of ArtPulse TV in 2014. In 2016, they were awarded the Calzona Prize, winning a plot of land on the border of California and Arizona, where they will create a series of earthworks relating to the formation of the Salton Sea. In 2018, they will participate in two consecutive artist-in-residence programs at San Diego Natural History Museum, and Torrance Art Museum with a third long-term art residency at UCSD School of Medicine.