David Czupryn

not born in the same nursery, 2015

oil on canvas

285 × 245 cm


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Artwork
Description

Uncanniness is a concept that is central to David Czupryn’s practice. Although outlandish and somewhat grotesque, the anthropomorphic assemblages that inhabit Czupryn’s dreamscapes appear strangely familiar.

The artist’s interest in the study of nature is apparent in his works: various natural materials and plants enter the picture frame and become a constituent of the anthropomorphic figures. At times, it is difficult to discern the number of ‘creatures’ portrayed in these paintings, as different conformations are easily interpreted in various ways. ‘not born in the same nursery’ at first seems to depict only one character, the one lying diagonally on the floor. However, as soon as the viewer’s eyes get accustomed to Czupryn’s visual vocabulary, more figures reveal themselves and it is possible to discern the tubular persona at the top and, perhaps, a newborn baby in a crib at the centre. The painting’s title emphasise its narrative potential.

Czupryn’s mastery of the oil on canvas technique is impressive. Although the images are the result of several layers of paint, the surface is completely flat and it is difficult to detect the brushstrokes. The artist’s awareness of physical space also derives from his start of career as a sculptor. The sense of depth and perspective is something he plays with in his paintings: walls that seem concave at first, might actually be convex, seemingly flat surfaces might actually hide recesses.

About
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
exhibition

October 30th, 2018 until
January 6th, 2019
Curated by Leon Krempel