figures in KuKula's paintings wear their heartaches on their sleeves.
They are delicate but resilient dolls buffeted by the crosswinds of the real
world. KuKula herself was born in a small town in Israel and later studied
illustration and design in Tel Aviv, graduating in 2003. The small town
environment of her childhood fostered a fantasy life rooted in her exposure
both to popular culture and to her elderly neighbor friends, many of whom were
holocaust survivors. Her paintings are thus infused with a tension between
playfulness and mourning. KuKula draws her aesthetic inspiration from a variety
of sources, including children's illustrations such as Holly Hobby and the Care
Bears, pin-up girl art, and German bisque dolls. In 2004 she moved to the San
Francisco Bay Area, where she is currently based.
the past, whenever I began working on a show, I tried to capture an emotion
that was generated by some important experience in my life. I tried to
document the feeling, not the event. This time I am attempting to catch
emotional currents with no evident experiential origin. Whereas my past
paintings represented the nightmare feeling of real life, here I want to depict
the emotional utopia one tries to keep sheltered within.
delicate web of the dreamcatcher filters out the bad dreams, while the feathers
hanging below allow the good ones to flow freely. In this sense I used an
imaginary dreamcatcher to block the fears learned from experience, which allowed
me a clearer view of that sheltered core. What I am after is not some
psychedelic fantasy, but an innerness that has not been scarred by the unending
pushing and shoving of real life. In such a place my girls can be whole
being an American, native or otherwise, the dreamcatcher to me represents not
so much a particular tradition, as a point of departure. Its metaphorical
possibilities, as with other objects, are what have inspired me.