Luka Rayski and Stephen Wilks have a friendly outlook when it comes to the mundane reality hiding behind what later evolves into a symbol or myth – as well as a vast amount of ironic humor. Their pieces recall great works from art history, but also hold connotations of the everyday meanings of symbols or words. In Wilks’s works, we can find commentary on Francisco Goya’s etchings (as in the presented series of drawings with donkeys), or Marcel Duchamp and his Nude Descending a Staircase, as well as to texts related to mysticism and gnosticism. We can also note a cabbage motif in the work (which combines a visual resemblance to the globe and the human brain) visible in the piece Le Monde Chou (Cabbage World) which depicts a cabbage globe. It is also evident in the painting with a cabbage wrapped in a piece of newspaper with an inscription reading: Global Market.
Luka Rayski’s work often seems abstract. Human hands, feet, and figures painted in a very simplified manner blend with wavy or angular patterns and lines. The visual layer is aesthetically reminiscent of street art, while actually owing much to the visual heritage of the Neolithic period. Its eroticism and hard contours are clearly present, as in the contemporary art of A. R. Penck, Jean Dubuffet, or Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the Arabische Pferde series of 2018, Rayski used illustrations from German albums on Arabian horses. Palimpsest-like images in book format balance irony while at the same time examining the unique elements of these animals, highlighting abstract structures that suggest movement as well as fatigue. The idealized horse in Rayski’s work cleverly reverts back to becoming an often skittish and clumsy animal.