Kling turns ordinary into extraordinary

Kling turns ordinary into extraordinary

by Andrea Kemp

Newsprint and an Iowa map: normal, useful, everyday items for most.

But, for Bob King, these are just two of the many out-of-the-ordinary media he uses in his artwork.

“I do love to experiment with mixed media and collage material,” Kling said. “I’ve done some works that are really off the beaten path.”

Kling, an Indianola resident for more than two decades, is currently showcasing a hand-picked selection of his most interesting works completed since moving to Indianola. The exhibit, “Bob Kling: The Indianola Years,” began Oct. 4 and will run until Oct. 25 in Farnham Galleries. The artist is also a columnist for the Indianola Record-Herald, and an art teacher – a part-time teacher for Indianola High school, and an adjunct professor for Simpson.

One of this artist’s talents is his ability to turn one or more simple ideas into complex pieces of art, and, quite often, an entire series of works.

“Typically, I may start a piece,” Kling said. “And usually this will lead to a series.”

Kling’s most progressive series have focused on produce, lingerie and altar pieces. The artist said he makes use of local ideas in developing his series, especially the produce series.

“It started off with me in the produce department at Hy-Vee,” Kling said. “It’s a common, everyday thing I see. Its local.”

Kling is also a world traveler. An art history enthusiast, Kling has made use of his multiple visits to Italy to gather inspiration for his work.

The artist is particularly captivated by altar pieces, as well as the everyday people from priests to beggars that he sees and photographs during his trips. Kling then uses these photographs as inspiration for paintings once he returns home.

According to Kling, one of the pieces featured in his Simpson exhibit, Madonna.com combines the “flavor or the Italian Renaissance with contemporary themes.” These themes are portrayed by famous American figures, such as Martha Stewart and Bob Villa.

Kling’s use of these household names in his artwork is just another example of his view that art is everywhere.

“It’s in front of you every day,” Kling said. “Too many people tend to not see [it].”

This avid art enthusiast, active community participant and out-of-the-box thinker hopes his artwork will leave a variety of impressions on the students who view it.

“There are a few works I’d like them to be awed with for the technical skill,” Kling said. “I’m hoping there would be something there for everyone.”

A reception will be held today at 6 p.m. in Farnham Galleries.