Elana Hagler


Oil on panel


In the background of this still-life is a monograph of the work of Kathe Kollwitz. The drawing on its cover is a self-portrait of Kollwitz. Through her drawings, etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts, she bore witness to the suffering and strength of the poor, particularly women and children, of Germany, most notably through World War I. The small doll in the painting was bought for my mother, Mila, when she was a toddler living in Siberia. The wear and tear on it comes from the many years she kept it in her pocket, and to me it has become a symbol of my memory of my mother, as it bore witness to the complexities, joys, and sorrows of her life.