Anthropomorphically architectural and overtly bizarre, the colourful compositions of David Czupryn reconfigure elements of the natural world—vegetable, animal, and mineral—to highlight the uncanny. In his painting ‘Tricky Disposition’, Czupryn has transformed a photographic study of a young girl to make a portrait that resembles inlaid wood.
Dark boards of wood sweep towards the middle and give way to a waterfall of orange hair, the grains of which run perpendicular to the background in a slightly curved fashion. A yellow face peers out from the centre. Upon it, tree rings swirl concentrically and two glowing green eyes stare out at the viewer. On either side of this face sits a still life meant to detract from the face’s symmetry. Painted with hyperrealist detail, this painting demonstrates Czupryn’s methodology of merging the natural with the fantastic. Indeed, as can be seen in this composition, Czupryn’s style is characterised by his unification and manipulation of nature and artificial materials as inspiration for his outlandish fictive landscapes.
Painted from a Phantombild — a facial composite made by police from witness testimonials — the painting is meant to be half real and half imagined: an otherworldly portrait made from an uncanny source. Indeed, here, the portrait is both architecture and human, natural and imagined, both real and fictional. In it, one cannot immediately discern a face. Rather, it appears as a fabulous amalgam of mimetic wooden textures; an abstract dreamscape inhabited by forms that seem, at once, both foreign and familiar.