Alfred Freddy Krupa

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Alfred Freddy Krupa (Krūppa) (14 June 1971, Karlovac, Yugoslavia) is a Croatian contemporary painter. He is one the best known European members of the global Modern Ink painting movement. Since 1990 Krupa is known for both exhibiting his European New Ink Art works together with writing an articles and essays from the field of an art theory (predominantly related to New Ink Art movement) published nationally and internationally.


  • Looking at, ie analyzing the so-called the visual elements of an image, we see the surface, the outer look of an artwork. All practical art education (the use of artistic elements, ie art grammar) is mainly focused on this surface analysis. Sometimes, through these elements, it tries to penetrate deep into the essence of the image, into what it initiated and created a work, into an experience (this is the primary task of theory, sociology, and art history). This is very difficult. There are works that undoubtedly suggest its depth and meaning, but there is, at least sometimes, the possibility of a mistake.
    • Aquarelle - Experiences of a Practitioner, Alfred Freddy Krupa , MB-Tisak (Croatia), 1994
  • Sepia is a watery drawing technique and we can put it conditionally among the inks.This is a specific brownish color (obtained from the ink of sea mollusk the cuttlefish) which is sometimes "golden" and diluted with water on certain types of paper can give "green" tones. On one occasion when I painted on the sea, under the blast of a wind a map full of sepia drawings, flew into the sea With the help of a colleague we managed to get them out of the sea and dry them. But what happened? The structure of the drawings and the essential mass remained intact, and there were reddish, blue, yellow, green tones in the form of capillaries and tiny discolored stains, where there were clumps of dense sepia (sepie).This gave the drawings a special "atmosphere".
    • Sepia, Alfred Freddy Krupa , from the original lecture material, 1996 (published in Texts 1994-2017 , Blurb, 2018)


  • I love the freedom of creation, which (I hope) is visible in my works, and only one who has enough knowledge can afford freedom. You can not deal with high mathematics if you have not mastered the basics, adding up and subtracting, so it's about something similar with painting.
    • Culture depends on the situation in the country, Alfred Freddy Krupa, Karlovački list (Karlovac Daily Newspaper), 2000


  • They are shaman-artists who constantly strive to look into the blueprint of creation beyond the visual crowd and the noise of superficial details, the one on task to explore and communicate with a primary game of opposite values during composition and construction of a coherent imagery. They paint from both levels, the personal and the intimate and the universal one which emerges from life-giving tension. Every Ink image, every Sumi-e painting, is a unique crossroad of oppositions, of directions, of intentions. They are all constant reminders of the duality of creation and the accuracy of the equation where two equals one.
  • One of my primary goals in my own artistic expression is to avoid the abyss of being “cute”, “tasty”, “nice” and any other deeply rooted formalism (particularly in stereotypical motives/composition and superficial “spirituality”). On other hand, I am trying to reach direct, spontaneous, raw expression, with a heavy emphasis on personal and authentic artistic handwriting. Some people are focused on, or even obsessed with the “beauty” of line and its graciosity. And that is a legitimate intention and a necessary one in calligraphic writing, but it is not my path. At the end of the day, I will produce my own shape, my own drawing texture and my own morphology of a line. I do not care if it is “ugly”, almost always a subjective description, or “imperfect”, or not in keeping with a traditional view and a consideration of “craftmanship”. It must be a genuine and direct materialization and footprint of my mind’s flow and structure along with my feeling. And when such an “event” occurs, by default, it inherently contains clarity and artistic honesty. With this approach, I believe that I will create original art, original at its very root, my own artistic grammar.
    • Sumi-e from the Perspective of a Traditional Academically-trained European Artist , Alfred Freddy Krupa , Beyond Calligraphy (USA-Japan), 2013
  • After my grandfather's death in 1989 (painter and inventor Alfred Krupa / 1915-1989), I went to Sarajevo, in the Reserve Officers' School. I painted it for a year only at night with a lamp in order to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1991. But, as there was wartime and complex circumstances, the enrollment to the Academy was also quite dramatic.-My head was sentenced to death in absentia as I was the second junior JNA officer in Slovenia who crossed over to the side of the defenders of Slovenia, at the beginning of the war aggression against Slovenia. I came home I spent a few months in Karlovac, so I could not go to the summer exam in the summer, but only in the autumn when it was organized for me and two other colleagues. I was admitted to the academy, a war started and I, as a volunteer, joined the defense of the homeland. I was the only participant of the Homeland War at the 1st year of the painting study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.
    • Conversation: an academic painter Alfred Freddy Krupa, recorded by the Karlovački tjednik (Croatia), 2013
  • I always like to look where it is rarely looked. I do not like taboo topics and easy rejections. I like to find out, check, conclude on my own ... to get to know "foreign" cultures and different civilizations, a global view. For this reason, nothing is foreign to me. I do not consider myself associated with a single cultural tradition. Every human tradition is also mine. I am trying to determine myself as a citizen of the world, because so I see the future, and not in the separations based on race, nation, or religion. A contemporary artist must necessarily be a free thinker, and for a free thinker there is no dogma or taboo theme.
    • SpiKA: Alfred Freddy Krupa about his grandfather, art work, origins, knights, and how he became chief, Alfred Freddy Krupa (recorded by Marin Bakić), KaPortal (Croatia), 2015
  • The more I have read about the theory of strings, the more I have understood that my artistic exploration and occupation of a one-dimensional (or “non-existent”) line and its movement through an illusory “non-dimensional” space, i.e., a one-dimensional plane (in a “short section of time”) as a fundamental building/ the constructive element of the painting/drawing corresponds to the scientific study of the idea of a one-dimensional string (strings) as the fundamental material of all matter and energy in the universe. I realized that pulling the line of the ink (or something else) to show the bare essence, i.e., the reduction of the expressive means only to the choice of direction, length and thickness of the line (Minimalism, Reductivism, Hakubyou), has a multidimensional (from 3 + 1) and a mathematical basis (something that the brain makes in the semi/multi-dimensional level, and the artist perceives as “a sense/feeling” and “a spontaneity”(Informalism/Art Enformel?), but basically represents a mathematical fraction, a fragment, a vector (as we have in music, for example) and where the mind of the artist just recognizes and monitors already existent “gravitational” forces, directions, building blocks on the “blank” surface of the board, canvas, paper, where the mind of an artist follows through the insight into another “alternative” dimension the most common/most meaningful inner, i.e., hidden, forms which we see not in “material” nature. They are perceived by the eye of the observer through the drawing process described here.
    • The Theory Of Strings/Theory Of Everything In The Modern (Ink) Painting Practice?, Alfred Freddy Krupa , Life As A Human (Canada-USA), 23rd July 2017
  • However, terms such as “hidden space dimensions,” “weird curved spaces,” “duality,” “mirror symmetry,” and others found in the physical theory of strings are exactly the terms that we have to apply if we want to accurately describe some of the arts (by certain art theorists “traditional and non-contemporary”) approaches and techniques such as this basic calligraphy and ink painting (Sumi-E) in particular. How to interpret it? Where does this timeless contemporaneous state come from? It is possible to correctly interpret it if we recognize and acknowledge the next creative mechanism: the authentic “artistic mind,” that is, when it functions in synchrony with the assumed multidimensional “reality,” behaves (“vibrates”) according to the nature and structure of this reality (here it would be the assumed “string,” which is then its own structure/architecture) apparently spontaneously (like surrealistic automatic drawing and painting?), pulling those lines that, as enlarged one-dimensional strings, describe “gravitational forces and the most logical paths through seemingly empty and non-existent space” on the paper surface in an attempt to present the motif essence.
    • The Theory Of Strings/Theory Of Everything In The Modern (Ink) Painting Practice?, Alfred Freddy Krupa , Life As A Human (Canada-USA), 23rd July 2017
  • As I grow older, my art also becomes more mature. Everything changes in relation to the simplification and synergy of complex forms. That cannot be achieved without the processing of the existence and artistic experience. The inner life comes to the surface stronger than in youth. I seek a higher expression and that is at the end of the process of multidimensional reduction to “essential forms”: some sort of “neo or re-minimalism”.
    • Reducing to deepening, Alfred Freddy Krupa (recorded by Francesco Scagliola) , Arte Al Limite ed.83 (Chile), pg. 58-63, 2017
  • They say that the first form of grated technique was invented by Max Ernst and is considered originally as the surrealistic technique. This is not just an "inverted" variant of ink drawing (positive-negative) but a technique that speaks with a completely different visual language. Maybe I could say that this is in my personal opinion (!) above all a supple expressionistic technique, where the expression is extremely fine put/render through strong contrast and energetically (more or less) scratch of the scalpel on the ink-coated surface of paper or cardboard.
    • Grated Ink, Alfred Freddy Krupa , from the original lecture material, 2017 (published in Texts 1994-2017 , Blurb, 2018)
  • Although I have never seen another artist (in my environment) to be more serious in a grated ink (surely there are some), I really did feel good in it. I went out several times at night (for the authenticity of experience) with glass-free glasses and built-in flashlights, seated in the park, by the river, or going to the old town of Dubovac and adding something of a greater variety to my drawing opus. I was concerned with the release of light and the "emergence" of the form from the full black and the emptiness of blank paper. Unlike drawings and images where I always have the feeling of creating a form, in this technique I have a sense of liberating the form (which is present but hidden).
    • Grated Ink, Alfred Freddy Krupa , from the original lecture material, 2017 (published in Texts 1994-2017 , Blurb, 2018)
  • I think success is when you are confronted with utter defeat of your world, your intimacy, your ideas, your public picture, your heritage, your previous achievements. When in one moment it looks like there is one, and nothing that helps you. When almost every look is also a look of doubt, when you yourself put everything under the question mark. When all the illusions about yourself fall, illusions about your surroundings, about people, about faith and religion, about flags, about objects of love and how much are you in love…and then, in that moment of personal and private holocaust, of that ocean of pain looking like all inner strength faded away, and there is no right for excuses about your existence. When at that moment you rise and keep moving forward, you start and you lead a creative and productive life. Yes, I think that is objective strength and power.
    • Overcoming a Personal Holocaust, Alfred Freddy Krupa (in the article by Ante Vranković), Life As A Human (Canada), 2019
  • I also explore the amalgamation of Eastern and Western painting styles and methods, which falls within borders of the contemporary art phenomena named “New Ink Art Movement.” This is the core element, but I do not limit myself. I also love the feeling of creation in various other artists’ philosophies and concepts (from new realism and neo-surrealism to art informal, etc.) And I don’t restrict or delude myself with any political agenda or religious doctrine. If there is a creative urge, I can paint or draw a formal portrait or an erotic nude with the same vigor. I honor freedom of expression based on knowledge, essence, and genuine expression. This attitude is reflected in my works.
    • A Day With Alfred Freddy Krupa, Alfred Freddy Krupa (recorded by Alyssa Perrott), Singulart Magazine (Paris, France), 2019

Quotes about Alfred Freddy Krupa[edit]

  • Krupa`s authentic discourses are brilliant and eloquent, and therefore they, in a constructive way, remove the cluster of mystification which even today is so typical for the most of reflections on the emergence of a work of art.
    • Quote of Ante Vranković (an art historian & an art critic, a bearer of the University of Zagreb Rectors Award, CRO), Školske novine ed.3117 (ed.32/2018), pg. 24
  • He poses many important theories and questions for the artist community and scientific community to think about and shows us a different way of thinking.
    • Quote of Casey Shannon (an artist, the lecturer at the Cabrillo College CA, USA), Life As A Human (Canada-USA), 23rd July 2017
  • It is an “imbalance” that is built around a series of oppositions. Sometimes it occurs by the content, as it happens for example in some of the wooded images in which it is emphasized certain elements that normally are not visible: the roots. This visible/non-visible choice demonstrates, in effect, the strong productivity of Krupa at the level of deep and symbolic significance.
    • Quote of Francesco Scagliola (Italian Cultural Institute), Arte Al Limite (Chile), No.83-March 2017
  • In a certain way Krupa's work is a bridge between Japanese and European painting of today.
    • Quote of Dr. Jürgen Weichardt (Oldenburger Kunstverein), review of Contemporary Art at the 32.Festival "Sarajevo Winter“, March 2016

External links[edit]

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