The death of the artist who inspired me in pop art

October 19 will remain a sad day for me because the artist Ion Bârlădeanu died today, who through his collages influenced my destiny and made me choose pop art as a dimension of artistic expression. In fact, the documentary about him (“The World According to Ion B.“) revealed to me the sad and true facets of the world we live in. You should know that the Romanian pop artist Ion Bărlădeanu died poor, just as he was in 2008 when he was discovered by the contemporary artist Ovidiu Feneș, the one who recommended him to the owner of the H’Art Gallery in Bucharest.

Despite the 6 personal exhibitions and tours abroad, in recent years the artist has lived in a small room of 10 square meters, located in the basement of a building in Bucharest, where he continued to make pop art collages that he sold himself at modest prices. Dan Popescu, the owner of the gallery, paid his rent and gave him money for cigarettes, food and beer.

He continued to live on the fringes of society and in the summer he slept in the park in front of the block. An existence as fragile as that of collages made from old magazines found in garbage. A life as an unconventional artist, without artistic studies, but with a satirical-surreal vision that has never been encountered in Romania. A few hundred pop art collages remain behind, made since the 70’s, left to the gallery owner who “brought” him into the world.

Ion Bârlădeanu (1946-2021) – Romanian pop art artist in his last years

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