Mocking Communism through Pop-Art

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Despite being discovered as an artist at 63 years old, while living in a dumpster in Bucharest, Ion Barladeanu has been a man of genius throughout his life. An uneducated man who has been making a living by doing several menial jobs (including loader, grave digger, watchman, or thatch harvester), Ion Barladeanu has created hundreds of pop-art collages (which he calls “movies”) from old magazines and newspapers, for a hobby. Many of them are a blatant mockery of the Communist regime and the leading Communist couple Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. You can see some witty examples below (via H’Art Gallery):


Collage by Ion Barladeanu
Collage by Ion Barladeanu
Collage by Ion Barladeanu

In all fairness, these collages have never seen the day of light during the Communist regime, otherwise we wouldn’t probably have heard about Ion Barladeanu today. Now, the artist has resumed creating collages after a pause of almost 10 years, and has been on exhibitions in major European cities, often being compared with other pop-art names such as Marcel Duchamp or Andy Warhol. BBC had an interesting interview with the artist a few years ago.

His life has been the subject of a documentary called “The World according to Ion B.”, which won an Emmy award (trailer with subtitles below):

Would you buy one of his works?

Enjoyed this article? Listen to more Communist stories and see Bucharest’s landmarks in one of our upcoming walking tours!

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