A moment with Yuri Zupancic

23 January 2017
Yuri Zupancic, "Silicon Mountain", détail. © KO21. Courtesy Yuri Zupancic
Yuri Zupancic, “Silicon Mountain”, détail. © KO21. Courtesy Yuri Zupancic


Yuri Zupancic was born in 1980 in USA.

Inspired by the vital impetus of the machines and fascinated by the fast evolution of ways of communication and their effects, Yuri Zupancic uses the entrails of machines to paint life. He is particularly fond of the electronic components on which he paints with oil using a brush made with an eyelash. These works show poetic and metaphorical scenes that pave the main road of modern information.

His works have been exhibited in New York, London, Berlin, Sydney, Denver and are published by Wired, Juxtapoz, Huffington Post…


What would you have done if you werent an artist ? 

I always wanted to be an explorer of some sort, maybe a scientist researching some mysterious phenomena.


How did you end up using this medium instead of an other ? 

Trial and error through many experiments helped me find new and powerful mediums. The medium is the message, or a significant part of it, so I’m always searching for new mediums which have strong symbolisms, in and of themselves.


Tell us about a work of art that is special to you ?

The first thing I ever painted on a microchip was a tree. That was 2004 and I immediately saw the potential for expressing huge ideas on those tiny, mysterious objects.


Do you consider yourself as an activist artist ?

 I’m an activist AND and an artist, but think of them differently. My art expresses my perspective, and sure, that could influence viewers’ ideas about politics or society. But true art must be insightful reflection, not just clever political propaganda. I’d rather teach people HOW to think than WHAT to think.


What is inspiring to you ? 

We are living in strange days, being forced to evolve at the pace of our machines, while our machines are steadily destroying ecosystems and societal structures. But some of those structures need to be destroyed and re-built. We need new fundamental attitudes and enlightened perspectives. Artists must dream very boldly to help the world reach new understandings. At the moment I’m exploring ways to show the interconnected nature of the world and an all-permeating élan vital (life energy) existing even in machines and inanimate objects.