Once upon a time in a secluded village outside of Tel-Aviv, a young girl named Kukula was nourished with tales of Holocaust survivors and princess fantasies. The dichotomy of opulent fairytales and historical horrors shaped her young imagination. Eager to reconcile real life terror with her dreamy visions of porcelain skin princesses, Kukula pursued illustration at Vital-Shenkar University, working tirelessly to materialize the creations of her youth. Then one day, Kukula left her home for America in pursuit of new inspiration as a painter. She explored thematic landscapes, Rococo interiors, and sexual tension, receiving high praise from collectors and peers alike. At long last she landed on the doorsteps of Corey Helford Gallery, where just recently, she unveiled a bold, fresh collection of work that tows the line between haute couture and classic Americana. A slight departure from her European influences.
"The Adventures of Raspberry Finn", which draws inspiration from both Mark Twain and Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko, brims with coquettish, yet rambunctious vixens who spend their days frolicking in an imaginative prairie reminiscent of the nineteenth century Missouri countryside. Fishing in streams, smoking cob pipes, flying kites and striking up the band with peculiar creatures as cohorts, these feminized renditions of Huck, Tom, and Becky are always perfectly poised and impeccably dressed. Using Sergeenko's theatrical spring collection as her muse, Kukula adorns the temptresses with corseted velvet onsies, crimson balloon capes, sheer lace gowns and lingerie. Each ensemble is accented with Russian folk embroideries and accessories further exemplifying Kukula's storybook mastery. Even the dishabille dolls wear emblems of the old country embedded into their skin as tattoos or elegant growths.
Guests and patrons spent the evening rejoicing in Kukula's whimsical blend of high fashion and rambling country style as evident by the smiling faces and lively energy permeating throughout the gallery. Many paintings found a new home. It is in these new homes where the decadent princesses will inspire the adventurous hearts of others and live happily ever after.
"The Adventures of Raspberry Finn" runs through October 19th at Corey Helford Gallery.