SCOPE Miami Beach 2016
Pop Royál is a collection of five paintings representing Kukula’s signature style of popular iconography blended with her flair for the opulent and regal. Kukula’s females frolic and repose amidst arcadian landscapes reminiscent of Rococo artists such as Watteau and Fragonard. Self coined as a Neo-Rococo artist, her work focuses on the historical and resplendent, the luxurious and the contemporary and the surreal and chimeric. Kukula’s heroines confront the viewer with their assertiveness and allure; they celebrate the strength and beauty of womanhood while simultaneously revealing their unique identities through their aristocratic accoutrements. A mastery of color and dedication to the finest detailing, Kukula’s oil paintings are further embraced by her exquisite selection of Rococo style framing.
Kukula was born in a relatively isolated village about an hour north of Tel Aviv. Her few neighbors were mostly retirees, many of them Holocaust survivors. Her childhood imagination was nourished by equal parts princess fantasies and World War II horror stories. Thus the attempt to reconcile real life horror with fantasy life sweetness emerges as a central theme in her work. After receiving her degree in illustration in 2003 from Vital-Shenkar, Kukula moved to the U.S., where she lives now. Kukula’s paintings center on feminine, doll-like figures, often surrounded by objects with sometimes clear, sometimes obscure symbolic meaning. The work registers the influences of both classical European art forms and contemporary pop culture. In her figures’ poses Kukula recalls traditional portraiture, yet the style is manifestly modern and pop-influenced. Kukula’s compositions thereby disclose her personal struggles as mediated by a rich multi-cultural heritage.