Ion Morcodeanu

PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2020 – Non-Professional
First Place Winner in Advertising – Art’s Passion in Food

Swirling green patterns reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings surround pieces of food on a black background in Ion Morcodeanu’s ‘Art’s Passion in Food’ series.

Morcodeanu, who works as a chef in Germany, made the still-life images at home where he has an improvised studio. “This series is a protest against those who say that food isn’t art; I believe that art can be anything,” Morcodeanu, 26, says.

Annoyed that photographers and galleries do not take the genre of food as seriously as fashion, portraiture, architecture and landscape, Morcodeanu is eager to bring it more attention.

He ardently believes that food photography deserves to be more highly valued. “My duty as an artist is to help a niche that needs more help than others, a niche that everyone kicks at and ignores,” Morcodeanu says.

Born in the Republic of Moldova, Morcodeanu is based in the city of Recklinghausen in Germany’s North Rhine–Westphalia state. In his free time, he studies art, attends photography courses and hones his food photography skills. His culinary background has informed his vision of how to arrange food artistically and reverentially.

“The shapes, compositions, textures and colors developed over several years from all my experience in the kitchen,” he explains. “I’m just an instrument used by each piece of food to express itself.”

Morcodeanu took perfectionistic care to refine every detail, such as adorning the remnants of a fish with yellow flowers and creating a decorative pattern of green lines from wasabi and another sauce.

“I’d been looking for this sauce texture for four years and, after many failed attempts, I couldn’t sleep at night because I was thinking about it so much,” Morcodeanu says.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Morcodeanu has been investing his time in working intensively on  developing his ongoing series. Dedicated to his art, Morcodeanu would like to see a shift in the appreciation of food photography.

“My motivation is to bring these kinds of photos to the same level as all the other genres but it’s a bit difficult because a lot of people ignore it or just don’t understand,” he laments. “That’s what makes me think maybe in about 100 years we would reach an equal level.”

By Anna Sansom