David Czupryn’s paintings portray Surrealist dreamscapes that are uncannily rooted in reality. The stylistic hyperrealism vividly contrasts with the chimerical subject matter: the spectator’s eye hesitates in front of such creations. The fine detail to which they are painted would suggest their existence in actuality. However, even the wooden and marble surfaces, which should look recognisable to most, conserve an eerie feeling. Indeed, while Czupryn is very meticulous in his study of nature and man-made materials, he does not merely depict them as they are. On the contrary, the German painter conflates these two spheres of everyday life – the artificial and the natural – to create hybrid microcosms, inhabited by anthropomorphic characters, performing unknown, and yet familiar gestures.
‘mellow_pupil’, for instance, features a humanoid character, hovering in the centre of a green room. It might seem like it is ironing, an act that would set it within a domestic environment. Or rather, it might be auscultating an invisible patient. Neither interpretation, though, is confirmed: there is no laundry in sight, nor any hospital signifier. The figure’s performance remains suspended in mystery, it is not given to know more for sure, but the viewer retains the sense of witnessing something that is strangely familiar. Indeed, the exploration of the uncanny – described by Sigmund Freud as something “terrifying which leads back to something long known to us” – is central to David Czupryn’s practice.