The uncanny is defined with words like mysterious, strange and unsettling, and it is within these adjectives that the artist David Czupryn finds his verve. Of his practice, Czupryn often speaks of creating a certain ‘flatness’ within the cosmos of his paintings, to focus the ‘deepness’ of opaque materials from nature into paint, giving his art a peculiar kind of colourfulness.
In ‘Primary Clock’ Czupryn is interested in the tradition of still life painting, and whilst the artist’s own production suggests the abstract, his work is deeply rooted in realist codes commonly associated with the verisimilitudes of still life practices.
‘Primary Clock’ however might also be read next to the Flemish tradition of ‘vanitas’ – a noun from the Latin vāïtas that means ‘emptiness’. In dialogue with these symbolic artworks, the elongated yellow shape in the painting is the skull of a foetus, whilst the order of the miscellaneous objects in the painting take the shape of a letter ‘U’, evoking the Latin expression, memento mori; or, remember you will die.
The atomic clock of the painting’s title keeps the time, but, in characteristic playfulness, the materials of all the objects in the painting, particularly the marble stone and wooden background, glint with the veneer of plastics. Indeed, there is something uncanny about the Czupryn’s plastic-like painting, directed at the vanity and mortality of man and the world he makes.