Czupryn’s Well Triggered Lifeforms arranges modern and contemporary works by other artists into a playful, yet thoroughly meticulous still-life. These art historical allusions—or explicit ‘appropriations’, as Czupryn puts it—generally refer to the Surrealist oeuvre, in its many incarnations. For instance, the satellite dish (centre right) reflects a distinctly Magrittian sky, and the abstract shape (bottom right) is a graphic illustration of Sarah Lucas’ Souffle (2007), a sculpture featuring two footballs (wrapped in cigarettes) supported by a bra, and resting on concrete shoes. The humanoid form in the centre of Czupryn’s painting depicts another sculpture: Hans Bellmer’s Machine-Gunneress in a State of Grace (1937), which appears again in Czupryn’s painting, Bodycult. But this odd little figure with protruding legs, and the use of a ‘recurrent motif’ more generally, also recall yet another artist: Duchamp, who included a two-pronged tuning fork in various ‘Bride’ paintings. Perhaps Duchamp (who eventually abandoned his art for a career in professional chess) lingers, too, in Czupryn’s black-and-white backdrop.
Naturally, such references pay service to Czupryn’s surrealist ancestors. But Well Triggered Lifeforms also stakes an emphatic claim for Czupryn’s own place within the Surrealist canon. The technique is seamless: layers of thin and evenly applied paint create subtlety, flatness and ultranaturalism. In all these things, Czupryn’s painting resembles Magritte’s and Ernst’s figurative works which eradicate all signs of brushwork. The result, in the case of Well Triggered Lifeforms, is that the viewer sees straight through Czupryn’s fine artistry, seeming to gaze directly upon the fantastical world depicted. And while Czupryn specifies that this parallel universe is not a Dalian space in which psychoanalytic theories are directly translated into imagery, its dreamlike quality remains rooted in surrealist tradition.