David Czupryn

Pseudo Doppelgänger, 2018

Oil on Canvas

190 × 140 cm

Interested in purchasing this work?


Additional Information

Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

We offer collectors a range of shipping options including a variety of specialist art couriers.
Please allow four to six weeks for the artwork to arrive after purchase.


David Czupryn’s oeuvre is a fantastical collection of paintings that depict anthropomorphic characters in a world that is both whimsical and confusing, but engaging to look at. The works have a life-like quality to them that animates with increasing intensity upon further viewing. Czupryn tends to work in the field of the uncanny (in German, the unheimlich), creating images that convey an intrinsic sense of unsettlement and mystery.

Pseudo Doppelgänger is the companion piece to 2016’s Pseudo Twins. Both depict a central figure with a bull’s head with devilish wooden characters on either side. A white devil, so to speak, made of white wood and marble sits in direct contrast with a black one. In Pseudo Doppelgänger the white figure is elevated on the left side, the positions and tonal contrasts making left and right opposites of each other, whilst in Pseudo Twins this relationship is reversed. Each painting then does a double-mirroring: split not only down its centre line but also in relation to its companion. When paired together Pseudo Doppelgänger and Pseudo Twins complete and mirror each other. The emphasis on the white and black figures is switched, with the light focus on the white character and the elevated position of the black. These two units form an asymmetrical reflectional symmetry with differences in lighting and tone. Like that optical illusion of the vase and the faces, the two vibrate between independent entities and a seamless whole as their similarities and differences shift in and out of focus.

Viewing these works gives rise to the sensation of dejà vu: they are at once one cohesive unit and separate parts, both the same and different. Looking from one to the next one has the feeling of partaking in a mischievous game of spot-the-difference designed by the artist to drive his audience mad. Each piece becomes both familiar and strange in this process: as soon as one work is recognised, the other appears to disrupt any secure ground one might have won.

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