David Czupryn

XYZ, 2017

Oil on Canvas

190 × 100 cm

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In XYZ, David Czupryn brings nature together with cultivated objects, and depicts them dancing around and about one another in a vertical spiral. The result is a kind of weird totememblem of an imaginary clan of hybrids. The base of this totem is formed of interlocking plastic shards. Their luminous hues and teetering instability are enough to make one queasy. We wait for the precariously perched candle to topple

From the candle, the eye is drawn upwards to the scorch march left by a recently departed flame. It is here that natural structures begin to intersect the path of Czupryn’s polymers. The large hollow hexagon may be meticulously carved to slot into to the angular niche behind, but the conspicuous grain emphasises the organic material, as does the fact that the wooden band seems to hang unsuspended like one of those floating rings which denotes the age of a tree trunk.

That said, this ring has been pierced through by another splint of plastic, along with a threateningly protuberant metal hook. Czupryn seems to be implying how deeply nature has been infiltrated by man’s materials. Perhaps this is why, in this image, the tree (whose trunk can grow at least as wide as the large wooden hexagon in the centre) is reduced to a diminutive bonsai in a clay pot.

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

November 2nd, 2017 until
December 29th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER