David Czupryn

Pseudo Twins, 2016

Oil on Canvas

190 x 140 cm

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Central to David Czupryn’s practice is the depiction of surreal anthropomorphic beings, which often reside in an oneiric world that appears to be fantastical and yet strangely familiar.

‘Pseudo twins’ is based on a type of ‘pseudo-symmetric’ painting, in which objects in the work appear to mirror each other but are subtly different. A chimerical figure with a bull’s head dominates the centre of the work, flanked by two others who echo each other in posture. The yellow arrows curling around their legs link the left side with the right side, creating an almost symmetrical pattern. At the bottom of the painting, a Dali-esque fried egg lies sunny side up on the left, while on the right another egg is heavily stylised. A rich red wicker background also makes use of neatly patterned cross-hatching to echo the unity of the painting as a whole.

The figure themselves, however, are made up of opposing materials; the being on the left has limbs made out of white marble and light wood, while on the right the figure is darker. Such an abundance of materials, some synthetic, some natural, illustrate Czupryn’s preoccupation with reconfiguring elements of the natural world to highlight the uncanny.

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. 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

November 10th, 2016 until
February 11th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER