© Ion Zupcu from “Works on Paper”
Most people take images of other people to preserve memories; I photograph objects to preserve my memories. – Ion Zupcu
Ion Zupcu was born in Romania in 1960. He began his explorations of photography working in a studio in his native city. While spending long hours in his living room taking care of his daughter but with the desire to take photographs himself, Mr. Zupcu began to take still-life photographs of vases and flowers. During this same period he came across the still life and staged photography of other artists, an encounter which influenced him greatly. Ion came to New York in 1991. While driving a yellow cab, he met the owner of a black and white photo lab and began working for him, learning the tools of traditional black and white printing. In 1993 he made his first visit to the International Center of Photography and also discovered the three Ansel Adams books – The Camera, The Negative and The Print.
In 1998, after seven years of separation, he was at last reunited with his daughter and wife in New York, and their arrival awakened in Mr. Zupcu a sense of purpose and newfound motivation. Previously focused on landscape subjects, he discovered a passion for still life photography. He began spending long hours shooting, studying and mastering the art of still life printing. His first serious investigation into the genre began in 1999 with a series entitled simply Flowers, which was followed by numerous collections of photographs depicting bottles, fabrics, eggs and portraits. His latest project is entitled “Works on Paper.” Mr. Zupcu’s prints and sepia-tones all of his own work [from bio]
I find the work of Ion Zupcu really amazing. The finesse of his images, the creativity to depict simple objects with an artistic perspective and the play of light are amazing. You can feel his photographs, with the incredible shallow depth of field and tonality that only large format cameras can achieve. His later project, “Work on Paper” has been published in a beautiful book that I had the pleasure to browse few days ago. The beauty of simplicity.
People don’t have time to stop and discuss the way they feel about shapes, styles, and objects they see. So my images are a conversation with myself, a diary of what I see. I chose the edge of paper as the focus, to leave the rest of the image a mystery.- Ion Zupcu