Lil grl lost the rope, 2016
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Surreal anthropomorphism and the elision of the boundaries between the natural and the fantastic are prominent themes in David Czupryn’s works. In his painting ‘Lil grl lost the rope’, a stick-like figure with a bold grimace stands forlorn; an older, sadder version of Picasso’s sculpture ‘Little girl jumping rope’.
The girl’s limbs appear to be made from wood; her spindly limbs stand out from the swirling black background and acidic pink floor, while her pink and blue ‘hair’ is clearly synthetic. This is characteristic of Czupryn’s preoccupation with unifying man-made materials with more naturalistic ones; the wood contrasts with the artificially blue ‘thong’ around the figure’s legs, while the straightness of the hair jars with the fungal swirls of the black shapes in the wall.
Though the girl appears desolate, which is emphasised by the title of the piece, a glimmer of hope emerges through the symbolism of the crossed green and yellow hands in the top-left corner. Together, the hands form the shape of a dove; a nod to the optimism and joy of youth. Czupryn’s oneiric scenes might seem nightmarish and uncanny, but recognisable references to a more stable image of childhood ground the painting in reality too.