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WATERLOO – Chawne Paige confesses he’s fallen in love with Bobbie Moline-Kramer and her work.

Although he’s never met the artist, he’s spoken with her numerous times by phone. “She is this amazing, creative spirit who has such mastery of her artwork — it’s so trompe l’oeil and so humanizing,” says the curator at the Waterloo Center for the Arts.

“As Above So Below” is a new exhibition featuring the striking work of Bobbie Moline-Kramer, on display now through April 23.

Within the exhibit is a series of complex and layered, almost monochromatic artworks that nearly absorb the viewer as they stare into the seemingly abstract image. But beneath the brush strokes, dabs, streaks and drips lies vestiges and symbolism of birds, animals and humans as Moline-Kramer explores the link between the natural world and the figure.

“There is poetry, serenity and surprise in her artwork. You can be gazing at an image and suddenly realize eyes are staring back at you – it’s the eyes of a snow monkey, so the work is visually stunning but also connects on a completely different level,” Paige explains.

Through her work, one can see the link between the natural world and the figure, whether it is human or animal.

Art in American editor Richard Vine says “in Moline-Kramer’s world, animals define themselves through concentrated naturalness, humans through brazen artifice — and the two modes of conscious being meet in a reciprocal gaze.”

The artist’s work has “explored and tested the limits not only of what we perceive, but how we perceive. In doing so, her art asks us to question the arbitrary distinctions that are often too easily made between ‘abstraction’ and ‘realism,’” notes NY Independent curator and critic Dominique Nahas.

Paige describes other series in the exhibition as “visual puzzles” that provoke an emotional response and provide a sense of constant metamorphosis. “You’re looking at life looking back at you,” he says.

Moline-Kramer was born in Fort Madison in 1946 and grew up fascinated by art. She was moved frequently as a child and took her first art class at a California community college with conceptualist John Baldessari.

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Vignette of a panel from "All That Remains"

For 10 years, Moline-Kramer lived in a San Diego art commune, then she became a flight attendant in order to travel and experience the international art world. Later she graduated from California State University with a double major in biology and illustration.

She spent 20 years as a successful commercial illustrator in the medical field and served as president of the West Coast chapter of the Society of Illustrators. At the same time, she pursued her own artistic interests and finally, in 2006, devoted herself completely to creating fine art. Her work has been featured in numerous galleries and exhibitions.

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Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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