David Czupryn

iron slab fig. #marxloh, 2015

oil on canvas

320 × 145 cm

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David Czupryn’s practice traffics in the uncanny. Here, composite tubular elements, pipes and ambiguous shapes balance and interact with one another. The resultant effect is a simultaneous flattening and extension of a figure in space – a character imbued with human attributes, but whose appearance is otherworldly. Oftentimes, Czupryn’s protagonists and their sprawling dismemberment reference acquaintances or neighbourhood people who suffer from drug abuse; the psychedelic hollowedout form of a cigarette and glowing toxic green cloud, which could be seen as the character’s head, attest to a further development of this theme in the present painting.

Czupryn possesses a remarkable facility to seamlessly imitate the textures of marbles, woods and metals. This painting evinces his deep understanding of the latter. The artist cleverly recreates a semblance of red carpeting through painting rust accumulated on the floor, while oxidisation creates a form of wall-papering for the background.

Each of his works are begun through the planning of an architectural space. The artist then proceeds in applying the paint in the flattest possible way, bringing out the materials and their inherent depth. The meticulous hard-edged metallic items in Ironslab are flowingly imposed into a curving and animate space that speaks to both the natural form of iron and a dramatic ambiance full of motion.

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 17th, 2016 until
November 5th, 2016
Curated by ARTUNER