David Kurzydlo’s Angels and Demons

Artwork by David Kurzydlo

We don’t know art (we do) but we know what we like, and that’s the work of David Kurzydlo.

The Sydney-based painter creates eerie, beautiful, unsettling, dreamlike portraits that often feature angels and demons and delicate little birds. Originally trained as a professional medical illustrator, David began exhibiting his work in 2011, and has since shown in Berlin, New York and Los Angeles. He is very good. We asked him some stuff.

What’s up with you and angels?

I add wings and halos to a lot of my figures to bring them out of the ordinary. I’m a staunch atheist but grew up in the Catholic school system, so I’m drawn to the religious imagery even though I rejected the concepts behind it. I guess the constant exposure worked its way into my psyche. A simple answer to this question would be that I love drawing and painting birds as well as figures. This was a way of combining the two.

Human faces are frequently muddied, blackened or otherwise obscured in your work. What’s happening there?

I really enjoy portraiture; however, I struggle with the relevance of the individual if a piece features a subject unknown by audience. I realised at some point it was the emotion a face was carrying that was important, not the person themselves. This opened a can of worms in my mind. In my last year at art school I was playing with this idea, and in one drawing class ended up blackening out a face completely, leaving the torso as it was but removing all features from the face. It was very well received by my teacher and the other artists in the class. Everyone had their own interpretation of whether the subject was male or female, sad or happy, turning toward or away from the viewer. Some found the drawing dark, others found humour in it, but the important thing was each person had their own interpretation influenced by their own personal experiences and mood at that particular time.

What do you hope to inspire in the viewers of your work?

I try to connect on a personal level by inspiring contemplation in the viewer. I want people to linger in front of a piece of my art and have an emotional journey. I want people to walk away moved in some way. It could be a complex emotional movement, or someone just impressed by the aesthetics of a particular piece. As long as it has an impact I feel I’ve done my job.

What’s next for David Kurzydlo?

My partner just gave birth to our first child, so I guess my new work will somehow involve this and the impact it has on my life. My work is very personal and an extension of my daily existence. I’ve been busy with numerous projects and haven’t had a show since my exhibitions in LA and New York at the end of 2016. I’m producing work at the moment for a show in Sydney in the very near future, but don’t know where it will be held.  I hope to have representation again soon as I cut ties with my previous agent back in 2016. My partner is Japanese and from Tokyo, so I would like to start showing over there as well as Australia and bounce between both countries. I’m always trying to expand my audience.

To read more from Monster Children #61 go grab a copy here, then go see more from David on Instagram @davidkurzydlo

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