David Czupryn

PaleNeonPlastics, Radio, Marble etc., 2015

oil on canvas

210 × 195 cm

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David Czupryn’s paintings draw in the viewer in an ‘Alice-through-the-looking-glass’ fashion. His visual vocabulary seems to follow the logic of a dream: inhabited by bizarre creatures, his disorienting scenarios toy with impossible perspectives and mimetic surfaces. Not only the imitation of nature plays an important role in Czupryn’s works, but also his characters often seem to be playing hide and seek with the observer. In ‘PaleNeonPlastics, Radio, Marble etc.’, for instance, the anthropomorphic assemblage of neon tubes, plants and various utensils is not immediately discernible. The artist’s interest in mimesis is evident in this painting’s ironic floor, depicted as a paradoxically boldly coloured camouflaged pattern.

While Czupryn is extremely fascinated by nature and rigorously studies its vegetable and mineral formations, he is not interested in representing them as they really are. Although his technique is definitely hyperrealist and conveys a sense of familiarity of materials to the viewer, upon closer inspection it becomes apparent that the portrayal is not life-like. Indeed, the artist elaborates on nature, by depicting materials and organisms which, although verisimilar, do not exist in reality, but are the product of his imagination.

Interestingly, the more one looks at the artwork and realises how strangely alien, yet uncannily familiar the scenario is, the more one is tempted into recognising a narrative. In such way, the fish outline and radio transistor (a homage to Isa Genzken’s ‘Weltempfänger (World Receiver)’) might become the springboard for a story about a fisherman.

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