Ion Zupcu first explored his interest in photography by working in a studio in Romania when he was a young man. A few years later, after getting married and having his first child, Zupcu found himself spending long hours caring for his daughter. With a desire to continue pursuing his interest in photography, he began shooting still-life compositions at home with vases and flowers. It was during this time that he also began researching the work of early 20th-century Modernist photographers in depth, which ultimately influenced his aesthetic a great deal.
In 1991 Zupcu moved to New York City to start a new life for himself. His first job was driving a yellow taxi, and it was one his customers, an owner of a black-and-white printing lab, that got him back into the world of photography. Zupcu was hired by the lab owner and quickly learned the tools of traditional darkroom printing. However, it was not until 1993, when he first visited the International Center for Photography in Manhattan and later discovered three Ansel Adams books (The Camera, The Negative, and The Print), that he seriously devoted himself to producing new work.
It took seven long years for Zupcu to be reunited with his wife and daughter when, in 1998, they finally were permitted to enter the United States to live in New York City. Their arrival awakened in the artist a fresh sense of purpose and new-found motivation. Up to that point he had been producing primarily landscape photography. However, he now went back to his initial interest in still-life work, and began spending long hours shooting, studying, and mastering the subject matter. His first fully-realized series of photographs in this genre was in 1999 with a group of images simply titled, “Flowers.” Several other bodies of work soon followed, including photographs depicting bottles, fabric, and eggs, among other objects. To this day Zupcu insists on printing and toning all of his work himself.
Since his first solo exhibition in 2000, Zupcu’s photographs have become part of numerous private collections throughout the world, and his work is already represented in such prestigious public collections as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan; and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; among others.