David Czupryn

Defending a Dream, 2016

Oil on Canvas

210 × 190 cm

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Residing in the liminal space between dreamscape and warped reality, the colourfully disorienting compositions of David Czupryn’s oeuvre reflect his fascination with the uncanny and commitment to the mimetic nature of hyperrealist fantasy. In his painting ‘Defending a Dream’, tubular lines curl together across the accordion-like background of white-grey marble whilst vegetal forms and anthropomorphic figures dance, almost invisibly, in their midst.

Most notable in this composition is the powerful stone fist jutting up from the right corner towards a dangling dream catcher, an allusion to a memorial complex in Bubanj Park, in Nis, commemorating the men, women, and children killed in Nis, and other parts of Serbia, during World War II. This sombre allusion throws Czupryn’s oneiric composition into an entirely different light. Indeed, although his imaginative expressions of Surreal, abstract forms reflect his tendency to create otherworldly and fantastical dimensions within his paintings, the inclusion of this fist imbues the work with an unforgettable poignancy.

Stone fist standing up against a crackling marble background while spinning pipes spring from the plush, red-sea-like floor undulating in the foreground, the amalgam of textures within this work reflects Czupryn’s interest in exploiting the natural world. An avid studier of mineral and vegetable forms, Czupryn mixes the inspiration he gathers from nature with artificial materials to create new, imaginative textures and shapes with which to inform the visual vocabulary of his outlandish pictorial worlds.

the artist

Born in 1983 in Germany, David Czupryn graduated from the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie in 2015 (2007 – 2015) and has been working closely with ARTUNER since then. In 2016, he was the recipient of the 70th International Bergische Art Prize with a solo show at the Kunstmuseum Solingen in October 2017. In the same year, he was part of two shows featuring new works at the collection Uziyel in London and Palazzo Capris in Turin, both curated by ARTUNER. In 2018 his first major solo institutional show, He She It opened at Kunsthalle Darmstadt. He lives and works in Düsseldorf. In his surrealist paintings David Czupryn creates fantastic worlds, inhabited by humanoid hybrids and built with materials found at the intersection between nature, man-made polymers and imagination. His practice is mostly informed by a research of the uncanny, conducted from a mostly ‘visceral’ perspective. Indeed, although interested in psychoanalytical theories, Czupryn does not explore them in his works. His technique is seamless: the ‘layer method’ employed by Czupryn is very meticulous and the brushstrokes result invisible. Indeed, the surface of the painting is very flat, while also conveying a sense of deepness and richness of the materials depicted. The synthesis of nature and industrially engineered materials is a very important aspect of the artist’s work. David Czupryn started his artistic career as a sculptor, with Prof Georg Herold and later decided to focus solely on painting in the classes of Professors Lucy McKenzie and Tomma Abts: he stopped sculpting altogether and put all his artworks in a storage. For months, all day long, he would practice on painting techniques, trompe l’oeil in particular, as taught by McKenzie. There has been a turning point in his subject matter in 2012, when he saw a late Gothic grisaille painting of a sculpture. Then, he took his earlier sculptures out of storage and started portraying them in painting. Surrealism and Metaphysical art (Salvador Dalì and Giorgio de Chirico in particular) are undoubtedly the first points of reference that come to mind when looking at David Czupryn's paintings. However, the artist’s most important sources of inspiration are the works of the photographer Diane Arbus and American artist Matthew Barney.

In his surrealist paintings David Czupryn creates fantastic worlds, inhabited by humanoid hybrids and built with materials found at the intersection between nature, man-made polymers and imagination.

David Czupryn
on Artuner

Part of the

October 30th, 2018 until
January 6th, 2019
Curated by Leon Krempel