Cuppari completed his education in Italy as a mechanical engineer, but realized early on that engineering was not what he wanted to do with his life. Moving to New York in 1957, Cuppari began a formal study of painting and music. He recorded several compositions and painted exhaustively while working to support his growing family.
On New Year’s Eve, 1976, a devastating fire destroyed his house and most of his artwork to date. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the fire gave birth to Cuppari’s pioneering “More is More” philosophy of art which was a rebellion against Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s then prevalent philosophy “Less is More”.
Cuppari found his first opportunity to exhibit his work in 1979, when he bought an old historical building in Elizabeth, NJ. He transformed this building into an “All Arts Center,” where he co-founded two galleries through the federal C.I.T.A. program. He recruited a group of artists and set them up with studios and workshops, including Alejandro Anreus, who went on to become the curator for the Montclair Art Museum and the Jersey City Museum. Through 1983, Cuppari organized monthly art openings and weekly poetry readings for this group and the surrounding community.