David Czupryn’s humanoid figures, at the intersection between natural material, man-made pieces and vivid imagination, seem to become lively protagonists of the scenes they inhabit. The German artist is able to convey on the canvas a sense of deepness and richness of the materials depicted, reproducing landscapes and figures which recall dreamy environments and fantastical tales.
A humanoid figure, a woody skeleton composed of prisms and other polygonal shapes, poses theatrically in a dark and small room; the skeleton leans with a hand on an open window, holding with the other a wooden chair, whose shape recalls a human backbone.
The flatness of the canvas is manipulated; it is turned into a shallow stage. In the backdrop of this oniric scene, an enlarged photograph of a man’s face leers out at the viewer, realised using Ben Day dots (a technique for cheap printing, made famous in art history by Roy Lichtenstein). However, this haunting face in the background and the presence of the humanoid figure also cite the 1963 painting Portrait of My Dead Brother by Salvador Dalì and André Masson’s drawings. As the little humanoid figures in the original painting, the skeleton can be read as mourning a dead relative, showing its grief to the dearly departed, but perhaps also to the celebrated painters, recalling their work in this sad occasion.
As usual in Czupryn’s paintings, the biography and imagination of the artist merge with remarkable oeuvres from the history of art. The artist’s background as sculptor-carpenter, his vivid imagination, and his fascination for Surrealism and Metaphysical art produce intriguing paintings where meticulously staged details lead the viewer into dreams, and occasionally, nightmares.