B. 1946 (Byelorussia)
The makeshift open-air studio of Ion Bârlādeanu was discovered in a back-alley in Bucharest, Romania. Born in 1946 near the Moldavian border, Bârlădeanu spent much of his adulthood drifting. He worked as a farmer, a dock worker, a security guard and a gravedigger. Yet it was the violent reign of Nicolae Ceausescu, and its subsequent collapse in 1989, which indirectly inspired Bârlădeanu to create such a subversive and satirical body of work. Bârlădeanu sees himself not as an artist, but as a maverick film director. In these, his cinemascope movies, he both commands and controls. World-class actors and Romanian big-wigs collide, sexy ingénues divert the male gaze, Nazis lurk everywhere, cigarettes are currency, and disputes are settled with a sausage, a bottle or a gun.
Today Bârlădeanu’s work is in notable museum and private collections. He has been included in international exhibitions, such as the 2015 Vienna Biennale, The Museum of Everything at Kunsthal Rotterdam in 2016, Mona – Museum of Old and New Art (Tasmania, Australia) in 2017-18, and Halle Saint Pierre (Paris) in 2018.