Like the artworks of the surrealists, Cotton’s painting playfully bring together abstract, real, imagined, and absurd imagery. They also refer to the impact of modernism, which redefined and reset the boundaries of Māori art in the mid-20th century.
Parekowhai works with surrealist ideas. Although his art is often aligned with that of Marcel Duchamp, it also relates to the work of René Magritte, a surrealist who challenged viewers to guess the meanings of his paintings. Like Magritte’s painting, Parekowhai’s sculptures are puzzles he leaves you to work out.