Kupczynski was born in Wilno, Poland, the only child of an officer in the Polish army. He started drawing with crayons as a child and was introduced to painting by his father, who took it up as a hobby. At the age of 11, Kupczynski escaped to Warsaw with his mother during the Soviet invasion of Poland, while his father went to Britain to aid in the war effort.
While Kupczynski is known for his abstract and figurative works, he has experimented with a wide range of mediums. In the 1950s and 1960s, his paintings were predominantly oils on canvas. In the late 1960s, he experimented with metal compositions, which were exhibited in Poland, Sweden and Denmark. Acrylic paint has been his preferred medium since the 1970s, which coincides with his immigration to Canada.
Described as “one of the wild boys of Polish art” by Harold Schonberg of The New York Times, many of Kupczynski’s portrait paintings are characterised by his unique personal style, use of bright colors on canvas, and trademark mini-scenes on the accentuated noses of his subjects.
He signed a contract with The Art Emporium Gallery in Vancouver, before opening the Kupczynski Studio Gallery with his wife in 1980. For 15 years, the gallery offered oil pastels, acrylics, posters, drawings and tapestries.
Kupczynski devoted much of the 1980s to commissioned work, including posters for the Vancouver Opera, a ceramic mural for British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital, and a poster entitled Pax in Terra to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada.
Kupczynski lived in Stockholm, Sweden, for two years before relocating to Vancouver, Canada, where he now lives with his wife, Eva.