David Czupryn

Untitled Being, 2017

Oil on Canvas

180 × 140 cm

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Untitled Being witnesses Czupryn making an assertive (if jocular) critique of systems of dominant authority. His symbolism is audaciously unambiguous. In the foreground, a sign resembles an alphabetic stencil, punched-through to spell the word ‘POWER’. Not only does this acknowledge the desecration that power can cause, it also implies the ease with which power may be reproducedthe ease with which it may be lifted from one context and applied elsewhere in just the same arrangement.Crucially, though, the sign/stencil in Untitled Being has fallen flat. Power is undermined and distorted: literally ‘turned upside down’.

With the other piece of text in this work—which reads ‘addidos’—Czupryn mocks the fragile hegemony of big corporations, revealing how readily all branding can be mimicked. In doing so, however, Czupryn also exposes our unquestioning and irrational deference to such commercial powerhouses, without which the ‘knockoff’ market would never have been established.

That said, Untitled Being is not exclusively or oppressively cynical. The painting’s right side, for instance, is almost entirely given over to homage. Czupryn commemorates Mondrian’s modernist aesthetic, making it his own by depicting the iconic ‘de stijl’ grid as an open wire structure, through which his own textured backdrop shines through.

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