“It is a test of not only what we see but how we are willing to see and experience through art.” – Bobbie Moline-Kramer
Upon meeting Bobbie Moline-Kramer, I was immediately taken by her effervescent alluring yet dynamic nature. Here is a woman who clearly has lived a fruitful, adventurous life; the magnitude of a true artistry, with an illuminating fire, which is constantly creating. Her presence is one of confidence and grace, long gray locks with the smallest tattoo of a star on the corner of her eye. She is beautiful both ascetically & internally.
Her latest series “As Above As Below,” which spent its last week at Red Pipe Gallery in Chinatown’s beloved Chung King Road is a show based on her studies of old world macaques – the snow monkeys of Japan. “She developed a sense of the Snow Monkeys that she has communicated to us with realism and abstraction.” This theme was the center of her Artist Talk with Peter Frank that took place on March 8th at Red Pipe Gallery. (Abstraction vs. Realism)
“These beings are otherworldly when studied from our human reference.” – Bobbie Moline-Kramer
The show’s title “As Above As Below” references an ancient alchemical text: “That which is Below,” it cryptically announces, “corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.” Moline-Kramer explains it thusly: “Whatever happens on any level of reality—physical, emotional, or mental—also happens on every other level.” Reflecting Moline-Kramer’s process-heavy procedure for creating her current body of work, the text demonstrates a divinatory concept intermingled with a Zen like Buddhist philosophy.
Bobbie Moline-Kramer draws out the most visceral elements of her animals. Eyes that present such human emotion that lack humanity gaze outwardly which in turn puts you in almost a trance like state while staring at each piece yearning to understand her subject better. A cathartic experience, surreal, peaceful and healing came through using the monkey’s hands and eyes as humanistic characteristics that the viewer can relate to. These relatable physiognomies of the monkey’s hands and eyes are the very same features men and women tend to visually linger on when we physically attracted to one another, our chemistry. Although in the monkey world, the female is the dominant presence. Other works featured are printed on glass and backlit; abstracted landscapes glow out like a past life lived in harmony with the elements of nature, a tribal existence.
Venturing to Japan to capture these snow monkeys in their natural habitat was part of a personal and spiritual journey that Bobbie took with her late husband. A time that is very special which is enriched by pieces created while in the freezing winter of Kyoto, Japan. Working on this series, Bobbie made repeated treks to “Monkey Mountain” she explains the process capturing these creatures on their turf.
“They have a society that’s slips into other dimensions.” – Bobbie Moline- Kramer
The camera acted as a protective shield between the monkey and the artist, which seemed to be a mutual understanding. Bobbie sketched them on her iPad, which was again some form of silent agreement. The monkeys allowed her into their world, posing still at times. Abstract and subtle their aura’s and attitude’s peek out through their expressions of fragility, stoicism, arrogance and wisdom.
In her studio Bobbie has well over 200-covered figure drawings that have been repeatedly painted on until satisfied, then put away in a drawer, until she achieves that spark of integrated concept and canvas. A convoluted process that may contain up to six to seven layers of drawings washes of gesso with new drawings interposed and then additional layers of gesso applied on architecture paper. Leaving them to hang for days until she saw something that could not be unseen. Occasionally, placing two pieces of paper together, pulling them apart and finding things within the two. The final composition is a select relationship between background and Snow Monkey. The land and those that feed off of it, preserve it. Some of these works are printed directly onto glass and backlit with new adjustable LED lighting panel. This is a first for this technology.
In her artist talk earlier this month, Bobbie made an interesting correlation about how the monkey was once perceived as a god to then slowly become one of a jester or clown. The downfall of the ideology was intriguing to hear considering that they are the closest species to human beings.
To read our full interview, along with a majority of images from previous shows and home visit please visit…
The series, specifically the eight pieces is accompanied with original score conceived by Oscar nominated composer and musician Geoff Levin. Each work of art has an adding auditory experience alongside the visual with which to perceive the pieces.
“A departure from her previous series ‘All That Remains’ and ‘Face to Face.’ ‘All That Remains’ (2009 – 2010) is a mixed media body of work on various surfaces conceived as an extended pictorial requiem or memento mori to treasured family members and finally, her mixed media works on paper and on wood. Face To Face (2004-2006) explored emotional spectrums. “As Above So Below” begun in 2010. “This last ongoing study is the culmination of the artist’s prior involvements naturalistically depicting forms, figures and space. Consisting of intermixed signifiers of gestural abstraction and super-realism overlaid on either wood or on paper.” – Dominique Nahas
After its exclusive launch at Red Pipe, Moline-Kramer’s exhibit will be traveling through 2016 to multiple museums and institutions around the country, MSC Reynolds Gallery, June 14, thru September 13, 2015, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.