David Czupryn

Pyromaniac, 2019

Oil on Canvas

130 × 100 cm


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Artwork
Description

Exploiting his mastery of the trompe l’oeil technique, David Czupryn blurs the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Harking back to the Renaissance and the debate known as ‘Paragone delle Arti’, Czupryn explores the potentialities of painting to represent and stand in for a three dimensional object. Indeed, ‘Pyromaniac’ is a nod to Naum Gabo’s celebrated sculpture ‘Constructed Head No.2’.

The source artwork employed a technique known as ‘stereometric construction’, whereby form was achieved through a linear description of space, rather than the filling in of mass. In Czupryn’s ‘monochrome’ rendition, the ‘wooden’ figure is threatened by its own urges: the black fleck which might seem like an imperfection of the ‘wood’ or a fly, on closer inspection reveals itself as a burnt match that the reclining head figure is holding in its joint hands.

About
the artist

David Czupryn (b. 1983, Germany) graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2015 (2007 – 2015) and has been working closely with ARTUNER ever since. In 2021, he received the prestigious Rome Prize from Villa Massimo, the Germany Academy in Rome, where he completed a yearlong residency.  Recent exhibitions include “Jänner” (feat. Katharina Beilstein) at the Villa Massimo (2022) and “Five Figure Fantasy” at the ICA Miami (2022). 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 mainly informed by research into 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 resulting brushstrokes are invisible. Indeed, the surface of the painting is very flat, while also conveying a sense of depth 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 painting techniques, particularly trompe l’oeil, as taught by McKenzie. There was a turning point in his subject matter in 2012, when he saw a late Gothic grisaille painting of a sculpture. At this point, he took his earlier sculptures out of storage and started portraying them in painting. Surrealism and Metaphysical art (especially Salvador Dalì and Giorgio de Chirico) are likely the first points of reference that come to mind when looking at David Czupryn's paintings. However, the artist names the most important sources of inspiration as the works of the photographer Diane Arbus and American artist Matthew Barney.

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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
exhibition

March 12th, 2020 until
April 26th, 2020
Curated by ARTUNER