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.