Ion Bârladeanu was born in Vaslui County, in Zăpodeni, and left the natal village at 18. He did not get along with his relatives, especially his father, because it was a communist. He had several jobs, as docker in Constanţa or reed cutter in the Danube Delta, then went to Bucharest, where he worked as lumberjack, construction worker, watchman or grave digger. After the fall of Communism in Romania in 1989, he was eking out life on a grubby mattress at the bottom of a garbage chute in a Bucharest housing block, recycling bottles and metal.
His collages, created from discarded magazines that he has rifled through for many years, were an art for him from the beginning. It is a line of work, in fact, that he began before the fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu in 1989. Created with a cinematographic edge, they depict shiny possibilities outside the gulag-like background in which he sets them. It's work that would have landed him in danger for many years. Although he have not artistic studies and did not have access to the art world until 2008, Ion Bârladeanu has a vast culture. He likes philosophy, movies - especially dramas, and knows a lot of people - domestic and foreign actors, and local celebrities. His intuition seems to be almost infallible.
He was discovered as an artist by Ovidiu Feneş, which recommended him to an art gallery owner, Dan Popescu. In his gallery exposed Bârladeanu for the first time, at 62, 20 collages on political themes - his favorite subject. Last year, he was flown to Art Basel and to London. In February, he was brought to Paris for the show, titled Realpolitik, and in the ultimate accolade for a burgeoning artist, surely, he had lunch with Angelina Jolie. His collages were exposed along works by Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Richard Hamilton, Tom Wesselmann. There is possibly something distasteful about plucking a man from homeless obscurity in Romania, dressing him up and parachuting him into Parisian society, with A-list celebrities fawning at their latest darling.
In 2009 the director Alexander Nanau and HBO Romania made a documentary film about the artist, called The World According to Ion B., film which won an International Emmy, category "Arts Programming".