Life hasn't been kind with Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu. During the communist regime he worked as grave digger and doorman, and after year 1989 he was reduced to a homeless condition. And, despite his incredible talent, his life didn’t change much after the whole world discovered his witty parodic pop-art collages. Born in 1946, in Zapodeni, a small Romanian village, which he left at the age of 18, Barladeanu started making collages as a way to escape his dark reality.
He was discovered in 2008 by Ovidiu Fenes who recommended him to Dan Popescu, owner of H’Art Gallery. His works were shown first in Bucharest, then Basel, London and Paris. Everywhere in the world critics considered them absolutely brilliant.
Most of his satiric collages, which he teasingly calls them movies, are inspired by characters from the Romanian political scene (the dreaded Ceausescu couple especially) whose printed images are glued next to international pop culture idols, wildlife photographs and glossy magazines cut-outs creating a splendid mise-en-scène with a mixed Dadaist, Comic strip and Surrealist aesthetic.
Ion Barladeanu inspired many journalists, writers and directors including Alexander Nanau, creator of “The World According to Ion B.”, an HBO documentary rewarded with an Emmy Prize in 2010. Alexander Nanau’s success unleashed a series of dissensions between Barladeanu, Nanau and Dan Popescu, regarding Barladeanu’s justified gains. Nowadays, the 65 years old Romanian artist lives in a small flat in Bucharest, provided to him by H’Art Gallery.
we thank H’Art Gallery and mr. Dan Popescu for sending us a few photographs after Ion Barladeanu’s collages.