Erica Orden

Mirta with her mother (credit: Eduardo Miller)

Building Identity Through Art

When Argentine artist Mirta Kupferminc escorts her mother, a Holocaust survivor who fled her homeland of Hungary in the wake of World War II, to view exhibits of her work, she sometimes worries that her mother will find the material too disturbing, too reminiscent of her experiences during the war. After all, Kupferminc bases much of her mixed-media work on her parents’ heritage, employing historical details from their lives in her pieces. “Sometimes,” Kupferminc said, “I ask her: Are you sure that you can cope with such strong material in these exhibitions? It’s not hard for you?” Her mother’s answer, Kupferminc recalled, is always the same: “‘Oh, Mirta,’ she says, ‘What’s hard is what I lived, not what you’re doing.’”