Yuri Zupancic: Artist in Focus at Cider Gallery

Spreading Seeds, oil on microchip, 2.5 x 1.0 cm

Spreading Seeds, oil on microchip, 2.5 x 1.0 cm

Yuri Zupancic is an artist from Dodge City, KS who divides his time between Paris, France and Lawrence, KS. Currently, Yuri spends most of his time working in Paris and Berlin.

Yuri also serves as the Art Director and Curator at William Burroughs Communications. He is also a co-founder of Fresh Produce Art Collective and DotDotDot Artspace in Lawrence. His accomplishments are many, including mentions in major magazines such as Wired, Juxtapoz, and the Huffington Post, and he has been internationally recognized for these achievements.

Born in 1980 in Dodge City, Kansas, Yuri was largely self-taught as an artist. His works can be described as mixed media art that combines oil painting and recycled technological components. Represented by Galerie KO21 in Paris, his works have shown in such cities as Berlin, Sydney, and major art locales of London, Paris, and New York. In association with his work in France, Yuri works with the Estate of William S. Burroughs to promote the author’s artistic and literary legacy throughout the United States and the world. This influence reaches to include exhibitions that have shown at the Pompidou Center and the Royal Academy of the Arts in London. 

Yuri is inspired by the relationship between electronics and nature. His inspiration is best summarized in his own words:

“With this proliferation comes new awareness, accountability, and free exchange of ideas. But privacy is disappearing. And with it our capacity for internal reflection. Hyper-connectivity does not encourage meditation or independent thinking. We must force our machines to work in our best interests -not theirs. Everyday life is being ‘augmented’ in a hurry. My aim is to benefit from these marvelous advances without losing control of our own evolution”

(Yuri Zupancic, October 2016).

Each of his artworks has a narrative; that of the conflict and the amalgamation of nature and technology. Yuri takes this subject to new heights by using the technology as his “canvas.” By doing so, he physically imprints technology with nature. His works features painted images that are organic in subject or form, often flora or plant matter, situated upon computer components such as: microchips, circuit boards, and sound cards. Some of these pieces feature a living element, where physical plants grow from within the artwork; it is these pieces that most closely reflect his stated ideology of “the spaces between.” These spaces represent a state that can be described as a node of connectivity that mirrors the inner mappings of the human brain.

 By combining high tech and fine art, Yuri uses the human need for reflection and independent thought to emphasize the overabundance of technology in our world. Due to the nature of his expression, he is not limited to physical expression. By using light and sound in massive projections, he is able to express the same idea without any physical object to present the work. His work is not a critique, but rather a reflection of the state of our technological culture. Wherein each piece is a hope that our, “hybrid existence [is] a future which is more of an upgrade than a downgrade.”