The World According to Ion B


This was the official website for the Romanian TV film, The World According to Ion B.
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Production data

Documentary film
Format: HD
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Sound: Dolby Stereo
Language: Romanian (English subtitles)
Length: 60’ 
59 shooting days between April 2008 - June 2009

 



The World According To Ion B [2009] trailer
The film starts in 2008. Ion B is a 62 year-old homeless man living in Bucharest. As a young man, he had dreamed of becoming a film director. In the 70s he started creating collages that he refers to as my films. In 2008, a young gallery owner heard by chance about Ion and his work. The homeless man showed him a collection of old suitcases filled with almost 1000 collages he had made between the 70s and the 90s. Only one year later, in 2009, Ion lives in his own home and has become one of the most important contemporary Romanian artists. This is the story of a genuine artist living on the edge of society, creating art in its purest form. For himself.

The amazing life of Romanian artist who lived on a dump

Ion Barladeanu is now considered an important Romanian contemporary artist - but just three years ago, he was living in the rubbish dump of a block of Bucharest flats. 
Barladeanu has spent his life creating politically subversive collages in secret, many in reaction to the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. 
He says he considers himself as a 'director' of his collages, which he sees as being like films. 
Now, after decades of obscurity, he has been discovered by the art world - and was the recent subject of an Emmy award-winning documentary, The World According to Ion B.

~~~

 

Synopsis

The film follows in real life the dream of any man living on the streets to one day becoming famous and leaving behind a life of poverty, misery and humiliation. Ion Barladeanu is on his way to becoming an important contemporary artist, but in May 2008 he was still an anonymous tramp on the streets of Bucharest.

 

The Story

Ion Barladeanu is a 62 years old homeless man. He sleeps on a filthy mattress at the end of a garbage chute of a bloc on Calea Mosilor, in exchange for sorting the garbage of the landlords. In “his home”, Ion recovers what falls next to his mattress, this way ending up reading all the books, magazines and newspapers that the others get rid of.

When he was young, Ion was dreaming about becoming a film director. In the 70\\\'s he started to create collages that he refers to as "my films", but this is a secret he only shares with people intelligent enough to understand and appreciate his works. He doesn't care about getting rich, he only wants a simple bicycle. 

Dan Popescu is a young gallery owner that has accidentally heard about Ion Barladeanu and decided to visit him. He was overwhelmed by more than 800 collages, made by the homeless artist between the ’70s and the ’90s. Those were times when such art manifestations were forbidden and totally inaccessible to Romanians. Ironically, this self-taught man is convinced that he invented collage, since he has never seen this art form before. 

At 62, Barladeanu exhibited in Bucharest for the first time 20 political works.

Popescu found him a new house to live and work, but Ion moved after a few months, as he found it very hard to leave his “home” by the garbage chute. Ion started to work on new collages that, like the old ones, recover the past through the artist’s personal experiences or through his own point of view. One can see traces of his experience as a grave digger or his experience in jail.

Ion visits his hometown and meets his family after 20 years. He had escaped this village, running away from a family that wanted him to become a communist worker, considering him an “useless crazy guy”.

Popescu prepares Ion’s first international exhibitions in Basel, London and Paris.

Director's note

At first I saw pictures of Ion Barladeanu’s works and was impressed by their cinematic quality. When I heard his life story, I decided to explore the personality and work of this rare self-taught artist, shaped in the undergrounds of a totalitarian regime.

There is a fascination around people living at the borders of society, living a life that bypasses conventions and comforts. These people often become the creators of a critical discourse, the cynics, the eccentrics. In Shakespeare’s plays, the fools always have the important role of unveiling the truth in the drama. Ion Barladeanu seemed to me the eccentric with the Shakespearean fools’ qualities. He was never an “honourable citizen” and remained, at the same time, both  outside and inside the society. He created his art in an isolated environment. Critics, trends, market or any other outside expectations or comparisons haven’t influenced his craft. Today Ion could represent a rare phenomenon compared to the established art market where artists are hyped and “corrupted” from the very beginning of their artistic manifestation, starting with their institutional education. 

"The world according to Ion B." is for me a way of exploring the question of what is art in in its pure form and what is a pure artist. 

There was another attraction to Ion’s story for me as a filmmaker, an attraction that derived from often hearing but never actually seeing that “real talent will always come through, no matter under which conditions!” 

Ion Barladeanu has always been in love with films and when he was young he dreamed of becoming a filmmaker. He made his wish come true and invented his own medium for telling stories in a cinematic manner with little or no resources. Ion has worked with all the great stars in film history. From Chaplin and Liz Taylor to Alain Delon, from Brigitte Bardot to Sylvester Stallone, all big actors starred in the films Ion B directed. He cut them off newspapers and magazines and casted them in his collages. Just like films, his collages are of various genres, tell complex stories and develop characters in a universal language.  

Ion B. made the dream of any filmmaker come true: all his "films" are easy to understand for people from different generations, cultures or educational backgrounds. 

 +++

The Story

Ion Barladeanu is born in 1946 in the village Zapodeni, Vaslui county. He escaped his native village at 20, and during the communist regime he tried all possible jobs. Starting in the Danube Delta, he worked as a docker in Constanta. In Bucharest he was a grave digger, wood cutter, guardian or simple worker at the People’s Palace. After 1989 he had marginal ways to earn his living, sorting, like a free lancer, the garbage of a bloc on Calea Mosilor. For more than 30 years, Ion Barladeanu selected and cut images from magazines and realized more than 1 000 collages. From 2008, he is represented by H’Art Gallery, and his works have started an international career, being exhibited in London, Copenhagen, Basel, Paris. 

The Art

“Ion Barladeanu created through many years his great art project that he only shows to a few “intelligent people”. He did what, in my opinion, metaphorically or literally, every artist should do: take the risky road into no man’s land where every society throws its masks away: the dump. Throughout his existence Ion Barladeanu selected magazine images and made a series of unique collages. All of them had a cinematographic intention. He started with a native talent in drawing and, with his passion for movie making; he created an imaginary, proto-pop world which came 20 years before the possibility of reception from the Romanian public. In Romania, the pop aesthetics is a post-communist reality and it is a direct consequence of the consumerist society. With little or no resources, Barladeanu creates a cinematic photogram that tells a complete story. All his collages are a very special hybrid between pop art, with a surrealist touch and dada. Add a little flavor of communist gulag in which films and brands symbolized possibilities of freedom.” Dan Popescu

 

Career

Realpolitik- 16 May 2008, Bucharest

The exhibition presents a series of political collages, made after 1989. Chronologically they are the newest, made between 1990 and 1996, as a cynical critique towards the all the “leaders” of the Romanian politics, that wandered around the public sphere. Ceau?escu has a special place, but post-communism is also represented by Iliescu, Constantinescu, Funar, Petre Roman or Adrian P?unescu. Through out his life, Ion Bîrl?deanu chose liberty and despised all types of conventional authority. In his collages he built an imaginary arena where he was always victorious, where hypocrisy stood defeated in the cheers of the crowds, and where the humanist-ironical scenario was played over and over again.

A week before the opening, M. Ion showed me some things that he considers some sort of „imitation” art, but which, for me, is the missing link in his artistic project. In the 70s, during his commute to the ship yard, he used to carve in wood, all sorts of logos. Through all this fascinating objects, I found a wooden communist medal. It is a replica of the “hero of socialist labor”. It was made by M. Ion at the beginning of his career but he will now wear it proudly like a gladiator showing his wooden gladius as a sign of the freedom he earned in the arena.

 

 

Ion Barladeanu: Man, myth, legend

The story of how Ion Barladeanu, the Romanian collage artist and pseudo film director, went from down and out in Bucharest to world famous
Words by LUCY NURNBERG | www.accent-magazine.com/

 

The first thing to know about Ion Barladeanu’s eye-popping collages is that they are actually film stills. Assembled in widescreen, his scenes of spaghetti westerns, spy thrillers and war epics star legends of the silver screen (Roger Moore, Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot among them) alongside the corrupt politicians of communist-era Romania.

Ion began cutting and pasting his cinema-inspired collages in the 1970s, when Romania was under the oppressive rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. He worked on them in secret; the satirical content was so radically subversive that if the authorities had discovered them, he could have been landed in prison. Years later, following the overthrow of Ceaușescu in 1989 and the dawn of a new capitalist era, Ion became homeless. It was only in 2007, after a lucky twist of fate brought his work to the attention of a local gallery owner, that Ion’s surrealist artworks finally became public. His rise from obscurity to art stardom happened almost overnight. 

Ion grew up in Zapodeni, a rural region of Romania that is close to Moldova. “He has a very strong, very Moldovan, sense of humour,” his curator, Dan Popescu, tells me. “That’s where the dada in his work comes from.” Ion’s father was a member of the agricultura nomenklatura in the region, overseeing the production on the state-owned land. But Ion didn’t like his father, and he left home for Bucharest at 18, making a living doing the jobs no one else wanted.

“He had a lifestyle like Charles Bukowski,” says Dan. Ion worked in turn as a dockworker, a stonecutter and a gravedigger — “he did all the work in the world” — refusing to take part in the socialist workforce. He sometimes worked illegally on the black market; at one point in the early 1980s he was caught working as an undertaker with no papers, and spent three months in jail.

In the late 1970s, Ion began making collages, without any understanding of the history of the medium. For many years he had been developing his drawing technique, and eventually he began supplementing these illustrations with photomontages created from magazine cuttings. “I’d cut out Florin Piersic, Alain Delon and Sophia Loren,” Ion remembers. “Having so many issues of Cinéma magazine, I first made a caricature, then started putting hats on the characters. Afterwards, I cut out [the Romanian actor] Mircea Albulescu’s head. I tried to see how he would look as president of Romania. It was too funny, the tricolor flag, with Nicolae Ceausescu’s club…”

Ion was completely obsessed with movies. During the communist era, cinema was a form of escape; a window on a free world. He went to the cinema regularly, often two or three times a week. He dreamed of being a director and began creating cut-and-paste scenes, using magazine clippings to cast big-name actors alongside the country’s corrupt politicians.

Ion sourced his materials from contraband magazines, mostly French, bought on the black market or found in rubbish dumps. “That’s how it was under socialism, when the comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu was the country’s prince. Then he tore down buildings and I would find pictures in basements, underground. You can still find them lying around, even nowadays. They throw them away in those huge bins that say paper, metal, iron, bottles.”

The ephemeral nature of the medium was not lost on Ion: “I’ve already got 500 kg of waste material. When I’m dead, they will all end up in the landfill. I’m only sorry I couldn’t make a school for collage-makers. Teach them how to cut out. It’s very easy.”

In his early works Ion pasted his actors and objects over hand-drawn backgrounds of living rooms, beaches or street scenes. His technique developed rapidly around 1985, when he began selecting backgrounds from magazine pages or calendars. This method enabled him to fully realise his cinematic scenes, but presented a new set of challenges. As Dan explains: “When you have a background that helps differentiate the light, the chromatics and the shades… it’s much more difficult to integrate the persons or the objects than if you make the background yourself.” Where Ion’s early works were grotesque, with a focus on the surreal characters and objects in the foreground, later works are conceived with a far greater sense of reality.

One of the things that makes Ion unique in collage is his meticulous eye for lighting; in a single composition subjects are lit from a single angle, just as on an authentic film set. And having never seen work by other artists of the medium, Ion broke many of the accepted rules of collage. 

“There is a specific style Ion used,” Dan says. “Other artists work in a very modernist, flat way. There’s no depth and only a single layer. Ion didn’t know about the history of collage or the professional, academic way to make them. He needed layers to create his movies, so that’s why you see two or three layers and depth. It’s funny him not knowing it was taboo. He just did it, and something spectacular came out of it.”

As a pseudo director, Ion found the selecting of disparate parts was the biggest challenge in creating a scene: “If you’re a director, you have to place your actors in the foreground, space them apart, throw in a helicopter here, a plane there, an Obama kissing his Obama-lass.” An aside: “He was an OK president.”

In 1989, after the revolution, Ion had nowhere to go. Dan explains: “If you had been living in a flat in communist times, you were given the opportunity to buy it. But Ion was in and out of work, and he was drinking. It wasn’t possible for him. And the guys that were living in that block of flats, they took advantage of this and threw him out.” Without anywhere to live, Ion stopped making collages altogether.

He was without a fixed address for more than a decade. He survived on the streets for six years, before taking refuge in a room (with electricity, but no heating) in the basement of a Bucharest apartment block, near the communal bins. Here, in 2007, he was discovered by Ovidiu Feneș, an artist represented by Dan Popescu’s H’art Gallery. “This artist made three-dimensional assemblages and he was always going to places where they discard objects to collect items for his work,” Dan says. “He found Ion there, living in the building courtyard, with his artwork hidden away in suitcases.

“It was a Saturday on December 1, Romania’s national day, and Ovidiu came to me and said, ‘You have to come and see this guy, he’s amazing.’ ” Dan followed him and stayed for three hours. He knew he had discovered someone extraordinary.

“I was like a patron. The idea that he isn’t even self-aware of what he is doing, but everything is in place. It’s the perfect proof that art can exist anywhere, even without a very focused or rational intentionality. Sometimes it happens in a man — he just needs a little focus and a certain obsession. And it doesn’t need all sorts of means, just scissors and glue and some magazines.”

The next day, having made a discovery he knew would be the most significant of his career, Dan returned to his gallery to find there was a major problem with the plumbing. “I was sitting there and, all of a sudden, shit began coming out of the sink.” Something was blocking the pipes and the entire building’s waste was being diverted to his gallery on the ground floor. As it was a Sunday, the day after a national holiday, no one was working. “I phoned the plumbers and they said, ‘OK, we are coming, but first thing tomorrow.’ So I had to take buckets and buckets of the building’s waste out of the bathroom. And the only thing keeping me going was the thought that, OK, there’s a balance in the world — you discovered this guy, but to qualify, somehow, you have to pass through all the shit and piss and garbage that he passed in his whole life, in the course of a single day.”

It took three weeks for Dan to convince Ion to sign with him, but eventually the artist agreed that they should put on an exhibition together. A film-maker documented the process in the 2009 movie The World According to Ion B. “The first exhibition was madness,” Dan recalls. “The art scene in Romania at the time was very elitist. You couldn’t be an outsider. I had a hard time convincing people it would work, but it was very popular in the end. It’s because he’s very charismatic, he makes people laugh. And in Romania we think we are the world champions of humour.”

Within six months of the first show, Ion had a new flat and a set of dentures. He has since held shows in galleries and art fairs across Europe — from London to Helsinki — and gained countless fans. Among them is the actress Angelina Jolie; they once had lunch together in Paris, an experience he described as disappointing. “She is not my favourite actress, as everyone says. I’ve gotten so fed up with that.”

Ion is present at every opening, wherever they are in the world. “That’s one of his biggest things,” Dan says. “If you look at his collages, almost every one has a plane in it. The plane signifies freedom. In communist times, it was the idea of getting away.”

Ion’s art, and the incredible story of his rise to fame, has elevated him to a cult figure in Romania. “Not a day passes I don’t get recognised in the street,” he says. “Even if I dress up as a hobo, people still know me. And I’m proud of it.” He has found his newfound celebrity a source of amusement, although it is not without its challenges: “I went from pauper to prince. I mean, in my own field. Some things have changed, but I’ve also got plenty on my mind. It’s not good to be famous. I’m proud I don’t need a bodyguard, as the likes of Brad Pitt do. On the other hand, I could use a bodyguard, because there’s always some dumbass around.”

For the most part, Ion enjoys the merits of fame. He recalls one of his proudest moments, at an exhibition opening in Slovakia: “I tell everyone this: when I was in Bratislava with Dan Popescu, I had the biggest fame, world fame almost. I had a show in the open and I didn’t get intimidated. I spoke to them in Slovak, I told them ‘hello’ in their mother tongue. And I was surprised that there were 50, 60 people taking photos of me at one time. Men and women. Everybody. It’s amazing I didn’t go blind from the cameras flashing.”

Translations by FLAVIA YASIN; art commentary by GABRIELLA SONABEND at THE GALLERY OF EVERYTHING; portrait by ALEXANDRU PAUL; tiny cowboys by CARMEN LIDIA VIDU from the series ION BARLADEANU, MY COWBOY

 

~~~

AN ASIDE: I am a decade late to when Ion Barladeanu was first discovered in 2007. I was first introduced to Ion Barladeanu's art at an exhibition entitled Action, Camera! at London’s Gallery of Everything in 2017 when the artist was 71. Fortunately I was with someone who was very familiar with his multilayered collages and was able to explain his visiual references to the fall of the Soviet regime, as well as the influence of capitalism and western pop culture in Romania. Barladeanu has describes himself as a film director, and his collages have been described as freeze frames from imaginary films which seems quite apt. What an extraordinary story of this artist.

I was showing a friend examples of Ion Barladeanu's art the other day on my computer. We were having a late lunch in my study, sipping wine and nibbling sandwiches. While reaching over to anpther computer so I could pull up a funny interview he gave to Vice Blog in 2011, I knocked over the bottle of wine which created a huge spill on an antique carpet. We cleaned up the mess the best we could but I knew I would have to call My Home Carpet Cleaning NYC my go to local NYC carpet cleaning experts. They are a 100% organic carpet cleaning service which I really appreciate. In addition they have amazing craftsmen who do excellent oriental rug restoration. When the company's rep arrived to look at the stain, he assured me they would be able to remove it. What a relief. I had my computer on when the rep arrived with pictures of Ion Barladeanu's art visible on the screen. He glanced over and said: " Hey those are collage's by that Romanian fellow. What's his name? He was living like a tramp before he was discovered. Right?" "Yes that's work by Ion Barladean", I replied and smiled.

 

~~~

 

REVIEWS

IMDb User Review

********* From homeless to world renowned artist

11 September 2018 | by mrbawsplayer | www.imdb.com

The World According to Ion B. tells the story of a simple man who had inside him an impressive talent. Being born in a rural village in communist Romania, Ion B. wasn't able to show his talent in a country where art was controlled by the censorship machine. He became homeless and lived like that for many years until he was discovered by someone who saw the genius that lurked behind his appearance and he debuted as pop artist at the age of 62. Beautifully showing the life he lived among piles of garbage, his only escape beside his art being alcohol and smoking, The World According to Ion B. portrays the undiscovered genius and the struggle of a man trying to understand the changes undergoing in his life. This is a story about the struggle of human creativity against political censorship.

 

 

The World According to Ion B.

A homeless man in Bucharest becomes an art-world darling in Alexander Nanau's fascinating docu.

JUNE 21, 2010 | By JAY WEISSBERG | variety.com/

A homeless man in Bucharest becomes an art-world darling in Alexander Nanau’s fascinating docu “The World According to Ion B.” Gallery owner Dan Popescu came upon a Holy Grail of sorts when he discovered Ion Barladeanu living in an empty lot among hundreds of carefully stored collages, and subsequently launched him onto the international art scene. Barladeanu’s mercurial personality proved less malleable than the well-intentioned Popescu bargained for, and while Nanau doesn’t entirely develop his material, this pleasant, hourlong pic is finding a healthy fest life, with TV exposure assured.

Barladeanu was a jack of all trades, but a brief stint in prison (for working privately as a gravedigger during the communist years) likely exacerbated certain mental instabilities. Reasonably educated but completely untrained as an artist, Barladeanu began in the 1970s to create collages out of newspaper and magazine clippings, his compositions making sly references to Romanian society and Nicolae Ceausescu in particular. Though Popescu hails him as a forefather of pop art, he’s really more the heir to such artists as Hannah Hoch, Raoul Hausmann and Georg Grosz, whose experiments with collage during the Dada years reflected the moral and political turmoil of their era.

Unlike such established artists, however, Barladeanu was working in a complete vacuum, partly owing to Romania’s lack of freedom and partly through his own (unexplored) psychological quirks. When discovered by Popescu, he had approximately 900 unseen collages, their wit and exacting compositions hidden in assorted suitcases around his makeshift outdoor home. The gallerist tries hard to get his protege off the streets and into a studio apartment he rents for him, but seems incapable of understanding the erratic mentality of the street artist, thinking a clean bed and public recognition are all that are needed to make Barladeanu a full-fledged member of the community.

Had either helmer Nanau or Popescu been psychologically attuned, they’d have been able to explore more than what’s on the surface; a hint of Barladeanu’s past is offered when he returns to his home village in the east, but by and large, insights are left for auds to piece together.

Lensing, also by Nanau, is smooth and handsome, working equally well on the big- or smallscreen. The Betacam support has none of the digital format’s harshness, and sound quality is faultless.

 



 

AWARDS

Romanian documentary 'The World According to Ion B' gets Emmy Award

23 November 2010 | Romania Insider | www.romania-insider.com/

The Romanian documentary 'The World According to Ion B' (Lumea vazuta de Ion B) has received the Emmy Award in the category Arts Programming. This was the first documentary created by HBO Central Europe which competed for the Emmy Awards.  The award ceremony took place in New York and was attended by movie director Alexander Nanau and producers Carmen Harabagiu and Aurelian Nica.

The documentary tells the story of Ion Barladeanu, who, after living on the streets of Bucharest for almost 20 years, became a world-renown artist. His collages, depicting life in communist Romania, were displayed in 2009 in London, next to works by Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp, and in 2010 at a prestigious gallery in Paris.

 

 

 

 

Grand Prix - Golden Apricot 2011, Yerevan Int. Film Festival

Winner International Emmy Award for Arts Programming 2010

GOPO – Best Documentary 2010, Romanian National Film Award

Best Balkan Documentary, Dokufest 2010, Prizren, Kosovo 

International Premiere: Visions du Reel 2010, Nyon, Switzerland (competition)

North American Premiere: HotDocs, 2010, Toronto, Canada 

USA Premiere: Telluride Film Festival 2010, Telluride, USA

Crossing Europe 2010, Linz, Austria (competition)

Planet Doc Review 2010, Warsaw, Poland 

London International Doc. Film Festival 2010, London, UK (competition)

Transilvania Int. Film Festival 2010, Cluj, Romania (competition)

Documentarist Istanbul 2010, Istanbul, Turkey (competition)

Message to Men 2010, St. Petersburg, Russia (competition)

Jerusalem Int. Film Festival 2010, Jerusalem, Israel

Sarajevo Film Festival 2010, Sarajevo, Bosnia (competition)

Dokufest 2010, Prizren, Kosovo (competition – “Best Balkan Documentary”)

Taiwan International Documentary Festival 2010, Taipei, Taiwan

Iasi International Film Festival 2010, Iasi, Romania (competition- Special Mention)

DokumentArt Film Festival 2010, Neubrandenburg, Germany (competition) (won main prize)

Zagreb international Film Festival 2010, Zagreb (competition) 

Cinemed- Festival du Film Mediteraneen 2010, Montpellier, France (competition)

International Film Festival «2-in-1» 2010, Moscow, Russia

East Silver Market 2010, Nominee Silver Eye Award, Jihlava, Czech Republic

Miradasdoc Film Festival  2010, Canarias, Spain (competition)

Bratislava International Film Festival 2010, Bratislava, Slovakia (competition)

"Free Zone" Belgrade Human Rights Film Festival 2010 Belgrade, Serbia

Minsk International Film Festival «Listapad» 2010, Minsk, Russia

Cork Film Festival 2010, Cork, Ireland

Escale Documentaire 2010, La Rochelle, France, (competition)

27. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest 2010, Kassel, Germany

Epos festival of Art and Cultur 2010, Tel Aviv, Israel

IDFA 2010, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

DocPoint Helsinki 2011, Helsinki, Finland

 

 

Ion Barladeanu - BIOGRAPHY

September 20, 2016 | www.widewalls.ch/

Ion Barladeanu‘s story is one of the most amazing tales modern history has to offer. This Romanian artist in his sixties spent most of his previous years living on the outskirts of society, depending on other men’s trash and surviving cold nights behind garbage bins. In his spare time, Ion would create amazing pieces that can be described as a mix of Pop art, Surrealism and Dadaism. Fortunately, his hard life changed radically for the better when these unique collage pieces were discovered in 2009 – these pieces skyrocketed Ion to fame and straight out of his homeless existence.

A Tough Past

Barladeanu’s tragic tale with a happy ending began in the year of 1946 when he was born in the village of Zapodeni, Romania. He spent first thirty years of his life as a rebel who refused to become what society called an honorable citizen, never accepting to become a part of a socialist labor system. Ultimately, he was forced to work as a gravedigger, a security guard and a saw worker, desperately trying to make ends meet. Caught up in all the anger and desperation of the world he never belonged to, it was only after 1989 that Ion found his true calling when he discovered a hidden talent he had for collage making. Before he became known for his work, Ion presented his prototype collages only to a few trusted friends, never taking his work too seriously and accepting it more as a hobby. This was partially due to his general shy nature, but prior to the year of 1989, much of Ion’s topics were quite controversial and not really suitable for stranger’s eyes. Up until his remarkable discovery in 2007, he was living in the area where garbage was discarded behind an apartment building and doing small jobs for the people who lived there in order to get food. He kept his art hidden not because of his old fears but because he did not believe anyone would be interested in seeing them. Ironically, nowadays his works are presented in galleries spread across Paris and London[1], placed alongside paintings of Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp –this becomes even more incredible when you remember his collages were kept under a garbage bin for most of their existence. Dan Popescu, the curator of Prague’s Czech Centre where his works can be seen, explained the hardships of his star: He had only obstacles to doing his art; society was against him, his father, a communist, was against what he was doing, he had no training … but he still found a way to make his art function for him. Furthermore, Popescu added: It’s hard to find an artist who uses art for inner purposes. For him his art was always a way to survive. He poured everything inside his art.

For over sixty years, the artist lived as a homeless man and created his fine collages in complete secrecy

A Bond Born From Hardships

Invigorated by his own discovery, he says he will carry on working regardless from any factors surrounding him. Simply explained, creating art has been fulfilling him ever since he started painting portraits in the late 1970s. Furthermore, collages were the only aspect of his life that kept him going even when Ion found himself on the rock bottom. Explaining his love for the pieces he makes, he stated the following: If I were reincarnated in another life I would still be making collages, and if I could take them to the moon I would.

Ion Barladeanu lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic.

 

 

TheWorldAccordingToIonB.com