Caesium in Egg, 2016
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Viewing a painting by David Czupryn is a unique, often unsettling, experience; his work traffics in the uncanny. Indeed, on first look one might think they were viewing an abstract work of art. Yet, Czupryn’s compositions are always grounded in the physical world of objects and things.
In ‘Caesium in Egg’ Czupryn modulates the major preoccupations of the still life tradition contained within the objects the title of the composition bears. The element caesium, for example, suggests a relation to the concept of death inherent to the still life tradition. Indeed, in order to measure time accurately in atomic clocks, the accepted unit is the time caesium takes to reduce by half its original size due to decay, its ‘half-life’. Through this, Czuprn’s re-interprets the Latin expression: memento mori; or, remember you will die.
Not without his characteristic playfulness, ‘Caesium in Egg’ incorporates Czupryn’s remarkable facility to imitate textures like marble, wood, and, most significantly for a painting about natural decay – plastics, synthetic materials notorious for the resistance to bio-degradability.
The egg, meanwhile, which can be seen in crystalline indigo to the right of the composition, offers the potentiality of new life. In Czupryn’s painting however the egg is re-appropriated as an atomic clock – counting down the decay of caesium’s half-life.