Roukes and Wilkin are thematically united by the often dark nature of their surreal subjects and their intuitive juxtapositions of photographic imagery and abstracted forms. Though emerging from distinctly different backgrounds (Roukes from a small town in the Netherlands and Wilkin from Buffalo, NY) and using distinctly different mediums (painting vs collage), the two artists are driven by remarkably similar concerns.
Each artist uses appropriated images as ‘readymades’ within their unique stream-of-consciousness styles, which incorporate fluidly designed layers of content and media that extrude and protrude from one another. Roukes’ collage-like paintings of anthropomorphic-hipsteresque-hybrids set within dystopian landscapes visually invoke cultural tensions through realist and expressionistic painting styles. Wilkin’s painterly collages portraying vintage portraits, whose facial features have been distorted and reconstructed from fragmented print media, retain their aura of glamour, whilst simultaneously celebrating the grotesque. Ultimately, both artists’ subjects reside within a dream-like surrealistic place, alluding to themes concerning the nature of interpretation and the ways in which images embody cultural memory.