The Innocence of Freedom: Elizabeth Kroglov in Ink

Either injecting her ink onto the flesh or reassembling reality on a canvas, Kroglov is one to bring her ideas to life


Written & Photographed by Sama Haddad


Elizabeth Kroglov in her studio

My vision of a force to be reckoned with is a woman capable of controlling any room she enters. Like a rockstar, she has the ability to move our emotions and inspire our journeys. When I was first introduced to the Haifa based artist Elizabeth Kroglov, I had a feeling she was one to control the room. Always with a glass of white wine in one hand, a rolled cigarette in the other, and Taylor, her infamous dog, by her side. Either injecting her ink onto the flesh or reassembling reality on a canvas, she is one to bring her ideas to life, never take no for an answer and inspire those who dare cross her path.


Elizabeth & Taylor in their home in Talpiot Market, Haifa

My vision of a force to be reckoned with is a woman capable of controlling any room she enters.


Kroglov was born in Ukraine and is the eldest sibling of eight. Her beginning was not a story book childhood. She came face to face with poverty and danger from day one. Kroglov grew in a household where milk was a privilege and porridge was the main dish. Even so, she was a happy kid. “I remember the days I would help my grandmother sell lamps at her shop. On others I would assist a shoemaker in the neighborhood. But my most vivid memory is of the nights. I would lay on the balcony and stargaze for hours on end” she told me. As a little girl, she would lay in bed, put her blanket up until her eyes and imagine the possibilities the future had to offer. Even though the circumstances weren’t always in her favor, she was not one to give into the shortcomings of life. Even though stability was an ever changing matter, one thing was for sure - Kroglov knew she was going to become an artist.


Haifa from Kroglov’s point of view

Kroglov was born into a family practicing Messianic Judaism, a religious cult in her words. Therefore, at the age of six, Kroglov’s family moved to Kiryat Yam, Israel, and lived under her grandmother’s roof. Early on, Kroglov was not interested in human identity as a means of definition, as nationalism was too manmade for her taste. She was an individual out on a mission to find her purpose. Weaponizing her creative instinct, she crusaded through her obligatory army service and finally made her way to Haifa. Kroglov took a detour to Berlin for a couple of years, but that's a story for another time. Kroglov couldn’t deny the everlasting love she had for Haifa, the place she now calls home.


"My most vivid memory is of the nights. I would lay on the balcony and stargaze for hours on end."


For those of you who are unfamiliar, Haifa is a city where time runs still, the hours long and the days short. It is a city of timeless contradictions and empty peacefulness. As such, the stranger’s naked eye cannot see the energy emerging below the surface. Locals, on the other hand, such as Kroglov, realize the novelty in the city’s truth. A substantial portion of Kroglov’s art, and even existence, is inspired by Haifa and it’s community. Kroglov is not only an artist by definition, she is evidently a pioneer and entrepreneur stimulated by this mercurial city. Her various projects, such as Promise Land Refugees 04, utilize the talent and genuinity locals and incomers have to offer. This local movement is a collective collaboration, each contributing their part for our greater good. As an artist, giving back to the community and laying out roots for future generations to come becomes the way in achieving your utopia.


Behind the scenes of the Kroglov archives. Other than her oil paintings, Kroglov is working on a T-shirt collection similar to the one she is wearing. She makes them out of materials she finds in her neighborhood

Kroglov realizes that being an artist is a true privilege. “Art is not the material doing, rather a state of mind. You are a historian, a philosopher and you have a responsibility towards your authenticity and voice” she said. The fact that her work surrounds her existence and her narrative is something she describes as an indulgence, explaining how the more homework she does, the more she is coming to terms with herself.


Art is not the material doing, rather a state of mind. You are a historian, a philosopher and you have a responsibility towards your authenticity and voice.


The things that derive from her truth and instincts shape the understanding of who she is, and that my friends is art in itself. When Kroglov first started tattooing, she tells me how she was worried that she didn't have a style of her own. However, she explained to me how “One day I woke up and realized that I actually do have my own style. It's pedantic and accurate. I had never met myself that way or viewed my work as such. Through tattoos, I understood that I am free, but only to a certain extent”. This is also a part of being aware of yourself through your work. Many times she creates something, looks at it, and then understands what it says about her.


The first person Kroglov tattooed was herself. In order to practice and perfect her lines, she dedicated her own skin

Once I got to know Liza, I realized that the outer armour of the tattooed badass guards a warm heart and loyal soul. I met a big sister, true friend and free mind. She taught me how to utilize vulnerability as power and make it a sense of creation. The trick is not to be afraid of your subconscious. Liza and her art constantly remind me that you have to trust yourself even when you don’t fully understand yourself. You must Introduce your outer-self to your inner-self and let the innocence of being true to who you are, without limitations of your mind, create a leeway to be free. Liza is proof of how to accept your demons, embrace your flaws and let your inner beast roam free.


I have a feeling that even now, deep down, Liza is still the little girl with the blanket up until her eyes, waiting for the world to catch up.


Kroglov in her element, photography by Sama Haddad

Keep up to date with Elizabeth Kroglov via her IG @mc_almazza and contact her via DM for commissions


You can also follow Sama Haddad's writing and photography on IG @samahaddad



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