A review by Steve Taylor, Artfusion.

When first viewing Barbara Gorayska’s newly completed work one is instantly reminded of George Grosz’s The City. Its imagery attacks the viewer like a vivid nightmare. However, unlike Grosz this is not a vision coloured by the trauma of combat in the First World War, but a World War of a different kind, a bloodless war – a War of Recession or Depression that is striking every corner of the globe. Barbara conveys to the viewer that indefinite progress and indefinite prosperity (which is the result of the former) is an insidious myth that is eating away at our souls. Indeed, a predominant theme in Barbara’s work is moral decay.

The repulsive caricatures and moral ambiguity of the contrasting imagery on display both disturbs and fascinates. As the paintings focal point – a demon. His hands gesture to the viewer to enter the scene, his face grinning expectantly. This is an image of a society that has got too used to their ever increasing comforts. This is clearly seen in the figure of a well dressed man, a banker or possibly a politician. The figure at first appears to be pursued by a disaffected and vengefull mob, but further investigation reveals an equally disturbing narrative – that of sociteies souls being led into the open jaws of the beast – a metaphor for the myth?

The work has many messages for us and one of them is to get a grip on reality; to realise that we bought into a dirty myth of selfishness and greed; to reflect upon the meaning of our short existence. To value important gifts like our health, imagination, creativity and our laughter. Though Barbara’s work is left largely to personal interpretation, it is hard to imagine any who view the painting to be undisturbed by its imagery and overshadowed by a sense of a society in crisis.

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