Romanian artist Ion Bârlădeanu was making collages for twenty years before the art world got hip to his work in 2007. Suddenly Bârlădeanu was supposed to have worth because someone else said he did. Bârlădeanu didn’t give a fuck. He was a hobo living in a garbage dump. He kept on doing what he was doing because that is what he does. The only thing a little recognition from a bunch of champagne-guzzling art critics meant was money to buy beer, to buy smokes, to get an apartment in Bucharest.
Born in 1946, Ion Bârlădeanu was a farmer, a stevedore, a security guard and a gravedigger before he decided to become an artist. He was homeless. He scavenged. He made collages out of whatever he could find. He was inspired by the Romanian Revolution of 1989 that deposed dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and ended 42 years of communist rule in Romania. His subject matter was the fall of communism, the failure of capitalism, and the insidious superstition of religion.
Bârlădeanu has said he never had fun making his collages because he was a down-and-out. Now his work hangs in galleries across the world. Bârlădeanu describes his satirical, politically-charged collages as film stills from as yet unmade movies.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The homeless woman who made photo-booth art
Photographs of homeless people and their childhood dreams