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Kukula was born in a relatively isolated village about an hour north of Tel Aviv in 1980. 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.
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“In my mini series of new paintings entitled Terra Incognita, I’m examining the inner landscape of mind and spirit, using the image of Medusa as a launching point. “Her Sinuous Nature” for example, is a homage not only to the mythological story of Medusa, but also of her visage which is an integral aspect of her character. I present alternate aspects of her personality, other than the fearsomeness and rage associated with her, in order to explore a more multi-dimensional character that perhaps existed before being ruined and becoming the destructive force her destiny chose her to embody. In these new works, that I view as “Reliquaries of the quintessence of being”, natural beauty, humanity and animal nature intertwine, rules of nature don’t apply, and a sacred and fragile connection exists.” – Jennybird Alcantara
ABOUT JENNYBIRD ALCANTARA
Jennybird Alcantara is a Contemporary Surrealist painter. She was born in New York City, her family moved to California when she was still a baby where she was raised alongside 3 sisters and a brother in Napa California. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1995 and presently lives and works in Oakland, California with her husband John and 2 black darling dogs, Sailor and Vegas.
My work explores mystery, transformation and the sacred.
Existing between a waking and dream state, the archetypal anthropomorphic creatures that are a part of my visual language attempt to illuminate the invisible threads of connection between sentient beings and the environments they inhabit. Depictions of Flora and Fauna integrated with the human and animal characters serve as metaphor for the connections between all living things; Darkness and light are at constant play and I try to maintain a tender balance between the two.
My process is intuitive and a journey which I undertake never knowing the full outcome till I arrive at the end of a painting. The inspirations for my work come from many sources including my love of animals, the complexities and beauty of nature, mythological stories, the symbol rich works of the Renaissance period as well as classical fairy tales to name a few; but primarily from the sliver state in-between consciousness and a dream state, most of my visions for paintings come then. When the mind becomes weightless and the veil flutters and mystery throws out bread crumbs to be followed and the heart can see, that’s where my inspiration lives; so I try to visit this place, as often as I can, when it will have me as a guest.”
Jennybird’s work has been exhibited broadly in the US and Europe and is in private collections worldwide. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and artist anthologies. Jennybird’s work is currently included in the traveling Museum exhibition “Turn the Page” A 10 year retrospective of Hi Fructose Magazine at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art , which then goes on to Akron Art Museum of Akron, Ohio and Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.
Annie Stegg Gerard
Daughters of Nereus
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“In Greco-Roman Mythology, the Nereids were divine nature spirits of the sea’s rich bounty and protectors of sailors and fishermen. They each represented the many sided characteristics of the sea from the frothy foam to the unpredictable waves and currents. I am often inspired by mythology, and through this collection of oil paintings I aim to explore the mysteries and wonders of the deep. These themes are what first drew me to art, and I am excited to rediscover their secrets.” – Annie Stegg Gerard
ABOUT ANNIE STEGG GERARD
Annie has a special love for the 18h century Rococo painters who have had a large influence on her own method. She finds inspiration in their imagination, and the dreamlike palette and lively brushwork that combine to create a wonderful atmosphere of enchantment. She believes that they sought to transport us to different worlds and fantastic places though their works. In her own work, known for it’s beautiful, enigmatic figures and lively creatures, Annie strives to depict this same transportive effect to the viewer.