David Czupryn

Plasticmann, 2016

Oil on Canvas

210 × 200 cm


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Artwork
Description

A highly stylised hyperrealism and a preoccupation with the uncanny is at the heart of David Czupryn’s artistic practice. In ‘Plastikmann’, a chimerical being, half-plastic, half-boy, stands at the centre of the painting, surrounded by an amalgamation of natural and synthetic materials.

Inspired by the plastic toys made for children and exported from China, the brightly coloured limbs of the figure contrast with the inlaid wood painted onto the left and the familiarity of the potted plant on the right. But these boundaries between the earthly and the artificial collapse upon closer examination; through the wood a figure can be seen to almost walk through the wall, while in the background itself a face can be seen, with two holes doubling as eyes or nostrils.

These additions disturb the scene in a subtle way, suggesting that the world depicted is neither wholly real nor entirely fantastical, but must be accepted as an enigmatic consolidation of the two.

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

November 1st, 2018 until
January 6th, 2019
Curated by ARTUNER