Presenting the art of David Czupryn and Jochen Mühlenbrink, this publication explores two contemporary approaches to painting. They subtly challenge our perception of the world and investigate reality: What is reality, what is illusion? What is true and what is false? The paintings by both artists are designed to trick the eye.

In his own unique style, Jochen Mühlenbrink creates a semblance of reality by imitating various materials that deceive viewers with their realism. Cardboard, plastic foil, adhesive tape, stacks of pictures leaning against a wall, used pizza boxes, or dry bread – Mühlenbrink paints light, shadows, brilliant reflections, surfaces, and signs of wear and tear in such lifelike detail that people sometimes fail to notice that they are looking at a painting.

David Czupryn takes an opposite approach. He does not aim to trick us into believing that his surreal visual worlds are real. His images recall theatre stages where human hybrids appear next to carefully arranged still lifes whose different textures are meticulously depicted. In the spirit of classical trompe-l’œil painting, Czupryn is a master of aesthetic deception who translates the pictorial language and techniques of past ages into the present and skillfully integrates numerous references to the history of art and religion, iconography and allegory, politics and society into his paintings.