David Czupryn

Trim a Tree, 2017

Oil on Canvas

180 × 130 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 Trim a Tree is a painting of juxtapositions and linkages. In this work, foreground meets background, heaviness meets buoyancy, nature meets culture, and subject meets object.

The central structure is evidently a tree, but it is certainly not ‘organic’ in the usual sense. It appears to be composed, for the most part, out of marble which, although naturally occurring, must be sculpted into shape. The anomalous blueish branch resembles glass, a highly cultivated material made from molten sand.

A collection of objects hang to the right of the tree: tangled wires, a coat-hanger, wooden poles, a piece of rope. These mingle with the fragments attached to the black, stone backdrop: strips of tape, splattered paint, a Thomas Schütte self-portrait. Although this latter group of items must rationally be ‘behind’,they appear to occupy the same depth as the hanging objects. Together, all the fragments form a human figure: a face at the top, followed by neck, shoulders, ribs, arms, pelvis, legs, and feet.

Meanwhile, on the left-hand side, a balloon (designed by Xanti Schawinski) floats upwards. Tethered to the tree, it counteracts the gravitational pull acting on the hanging man.

As a result of all these coalescing opposites, Trim a Tree is both harmonious and deeply unsettling. The painting lingers in that uncanny space between the familiar, and the troublingly alien.

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 1st, 2017 until
December 16th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER