David Czupryn

He, She, It, 2017

Oil on Canvas

180 × 150 cm

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David Czupryn’s works are like poetic assemblages, both oneiric and visceral. Initially a sculptor,Czupryn explores the three-dimensionality of objects: his pictorial scrutiny effectively encapsulates a trompe l’oeil, an illusion designed to enhance the uncanny atmosphere of the curious scene he depicts.Like a Gothic grisaille painting, He She It for example lures the eye into its depths. Czupryn’s meticulous technique -invisible brushstrokes, flashy palette, stark contrasts- denotes a kind of hyper-reality: between hallucination and nightmare. For He She It, Czupryn created a collage of Naum Gabo’s Head of a Woman), Lygia Clark’s Opposite creature (resting on the Plexiglas layer), and Wladmir Tatlin’s Eck-Konterrelief, respectively upper right; mid-lower section and centre top sections. This cut and paste approach reconstructs art history in fragments, as it were picking out particular artworks tore-contextualise them in an entirely new setting: we enter a hyper-real and eerie sort of laboratory where man-made polymers and hybrid creatures dwell. Strange forms and objects seem to float in space, oddly disjointed and yet connected by wires, ropes, with a mix of surfaces wood and organic fibres co-exist with marble, concrete or textiles. This peculiar mix of nature and artifice creates a dystopian vision, like a cross-section of reality. Paraphernalia like a broom, folded paper, or morph into bizarre shapes that may evoke certain objects, but strangely trigger a sense of unease. The trivial thus becomes a catalyst for anxieties  a surreal transfiguration of the real.

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