Mesa College Gallery show takes poke at convention

Gallery director Alessandra Moctezuma with Smokin' Columbia.

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt

Debby and Larry Kline are a husband-and-wife team of artist-provocateurs who try to make pieces that turn people’s heads.

“We pose provocative questions, challenge preconceptions and generally screw with context to make a point,” they say in their artists’ statement.

At the Sept. 5 opening, artists Debby and Larry Kline pose with poet David Antin. Photos Maurice Hewitt

Their latest exhibit, “POKE,” at Mesa College Gallery, is well worth the drive from La Jolla. A selection of pieces from three different series, it takes jabs at religious imagery, the persistence of war, and our over-medicated society, and explores the unlimited possibilities of creating art out of restaurant-table rubble.

On view is “The Age of Enlightenment,” a temple of 8-foot tall columns, each representing a different belief system, all ornamented with figures from commercial molds that have been cleverly re-purposed by the Klines.

Then there’s “The Candy Store,” which includes a pharmaceutical Ferris wheel and a wall of canopic vessels, not filled with body parts preserved for an ancient Egyptian afterlife, but topped with glazes containing some of the ground-up prescription medications that we contemporary pill-poppers, encouraged by willing doctors, consume like candy.

Deborah and Larry Poteet at the show.

Last but not least is a smorgasbord of photos from their restaurant tabletop art series “My Dinner with the Klines,” some of which were shown at the La Jolla Athenaeum last fall.

Winners of the 2013 San Diego Art Prize, and soon-to-be-featured artists at this year’s Art Fair, the Klines have had exhibitions and commissions around the world. Their work is definitely mixed media, including photography, clay, cement, tobacco, wood, wire, plaster, and ketchup.

Their style is surreal, and their sense of humor is both intelligent and open hearted, a rare combination in the art world and beyond. For a good time, let yourself get “POKED” at Mesa’s Gallery: You may well go out more enlightened than you came in.

If you go

Special Artists’ Talk: 1 p.m. Sept. 20

What: POKE: A Series of Provocations by Debby and Larry Kline

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday until Sept. 26

Where: Mesa College Art Gallery, 7250 Mesa College Dr., D101

Parking details:

Website: www.sdmesa/edu/art-gallery/619-388-2829

Did you know?

“Poke” is a term used on Facebook that means to reach out and virtually touch someone. Source: netlingo

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Posted by Staff on Sep 18, 2013. Filed under A & E, Art. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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