David Kurzydlo X Stupid Krap
David Kurzydlo is an ex medical illustrator who has become known for his intensely emotional imagery, particularly his psychological portraits which often incorporate birds as lyrical references. He contrasts broad gestural marks with areas of intense detail, urging the viewer to stare hypnotically into the work so as to absorb the full range of emotions being expressed in the image. Works on wood using the grain as part of the imagery are one of his trademarks.
We caught up with David for a quick chat about his latest print release, his studio environment and his collector base.
Tell us about the artwork 'Walter' (left).
It's based on an image of Walter White. I had never seen Breaking Bad but used a photo I found in a magazine for reference, as I often do, and someone commented that the work looked similar to the main character from this series. I kept the page and on later inspection it turned out to be an advert for Breaking Bad. One day I'll watch it as everyone says it's fantastic. I wouldn't know. I don't watch much tv unless it's a doco or Anthony Bourdain. It's (the original artwork) done in gouache and charcoal on paper.
What is your process and how long do some of your artworks take to complete?
I get ideas for artworks in flashes, several at a time. This usually happens in the shower in the morning. Sometimes I have to stop the water, get out, write ideas down then continue to bathe. Someone needs to invent a waterproof pen and pad so I can keep it on a suction cup permanently in my bathroom.
I understand you have a history of working in the field of medical illustration, how does that inform your current work?
Anatomy has always got my artistic blood pumping. My favourite artists are medical illustrators. I started a science degree but realised it was the visual side of science I enjoyed more than the science itself. Being an artist wasn't the done thing in my family so I was 'encouraged' to pursue my passion for drawing and painting as a hobby, not a career. A lot of my family members are in the medical field. It still freaks me out that we are basically walking skeletons held together by skin, bone and muscle. I try not to think about it. I just really dig the inner workings of the mind and body and bringing them to the surface. Representing thought and emotions can be intensified by showing what's on the inside.
What’s your studio environment like?
My whole house is basically a studio. It's a great excuse for being messy. I have a really understanding housemate, however when I return from Europe he will have moved out so my whole living and working environment are up in the air at the moment. Do you want to move in?
Every artist attracts a different kind of collector. What kind of people collect your work?
Gay men and female lawyers are my main collector base.
Tell us about your own art collection.
My house is so full of my own artworks I don't have any room to collect art. I mainly swap works with people I know.
What’s coming up next for David Kurzydlo?
I could tell you but I'd have to kill you.
~ Interview by Ben Frost.