David Czupryn

Study for a Digiprint, 2016

Oil on Canvas

200 × 290 cm

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The painted universe of David Czupryn always leaves the viewer astounded: akin to a fantastic puzzle, after a while shards of landscapes and suggestions of characters reveal themselves to the beholder. The introduction is not immediate, it takes a few moments of contemplation to enter this bizarrely hyperreal world. By learning its surrealistic vernacular well enough, one starts discerning its curious inhabitants playing hide and seek with the background. It is the intimacy of observation that provides access to these paintings.

Natural materials such as wood, plants and minerals feature prominently in Czupryn’s work. The artist unites a scrupulous study of nature with the hands-on knowledge of the carpenter and stone-worker, as well as a penchant for synthetic polymers. The hybrid anthropomorphic organisms resulting from such interests toy with the viewer’s expectations, distorting perspective and evoking a jarring feeling of the uncanny.

‘Study for a Digiprint’ is an inherently complex work, revealing different characters with every new examination of its microcosm. Czupryn’s interest in sculpture is evident in the Alexander Calder reference on the left, while his fascination with Maillol’s use of materials manifests itself very subtly in the right-hand side figure (or just a pile of objects?) falling over towards the left. Like in a children’s game, the floor – towards which the Calder figure gazes with concern – seems to have become a dangerous sea, inhabited by crocodiles and other mysterious creatures.

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 17th, 2016 until
November 5th, 2016
Curated by ARTUNER