David Czupryn

Raw Plastic Parasites, 2018

Oil on Canvas

280 × 240 cm

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David Czupryn’s expertise in depicting surfaces such as wood, marble and plastic reveal his meticulous study of both natural and synthetic materials. He monitored the growth and metamorphosis of plants and minerals, and paid close attention to plastic and polymeric surfaces. Invisible brushstrokes achieve a hyperrealist portrayal of multiple surfaces that is comparable to a digital illustration.

The painting is in keeping with Czupryn’s chimerical depictions that dabble with notions of the planet’s deterioration. Plastic plants mimic Ettore Sottsass’ lush Memphis style. This imitation of nature is false; these polymet parasites cannot photosynthesise but grow artificially, suffocating the planet that hosts them. The result is a climbing jungle in which mock snakes, birds, orchids and a Memphis lamp compete and entangle one another: a dystopian still life which conveys anxiety about the future state of the environment in its frenetic forms.

Czupryn offers the viewer no hope: despair is central to Raw Plastic Parasites. On the left two slim figures are contorted in anguish, bowing and throwing back their heads in silent screams. Their spindly bodies stand in great contrast to the maximalist mess beside them, a suggestion that the horror that humans have created will soon overwhelm us too.

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