David Czupryn

Figure 1, 2018

mixed media on paper

30 × 20.7 cm

Under € 1000

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David Czupryn firstly cultivated his surrealist practice as a sculptor, learning first-hand how to work with materials such as stone, wood, and marble. He progressively became interested in painting, to the point of deciding to solely focus on it. In 2012, Czupryn saw a grisaille work depicting a sculpture, and, despite the monochrome, grey-ish tones of the grisaille (from the French word for grey: gris) technique, Czupryn found himself inspired, and started portraying his own sculptures in paint, conjoining both practices. His style evolved into an active research of the uncanny, blending humanoid figures, imaginative shapes, and featuring realistically rendered materials on paper and canvas.

Czupryn’s composition shows a humanoid figure assembled with peculiar objects placed in front of a closed door. The composition conveys a frail stillness in its almost perfect symmetry; the thin sticks protruding out of the holes as ‘arms’ seem very fragile as they have even thinner supports, insecurely clamped to an irregular polyhedron on a stool, at the centre of the drawing – almost to secure its posture, the humanoid is holding a slowly rotating Calder sculpture, and a deflated, yet still floating balloon.

The perplexed emoji-like likeness carved into the wood of the door is the only element of contemporary pop culture present in this composition – it’s at the centre of the drawing, giving it an overall mood of unsettlement as if the composition were precariously balanced and risked collapsing at the slightest movement.

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

April 5th, 2018 until
April 24th, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER