Ion Bârlădeanu became homeless after the Romanian revolution of 1989. Even before he became homeless he lived a marginal existence working menial jobs. Despite his physical poverty Ion Bârlădeanu created many hundreds of remarkable collages and managed to keep them safe in several suitcases. In 2007 he was living in the trash room of a residential tower when he met a man who was going through the trash. Mr. Bârlădeanu asked him what he was looking for and if he needed any help. The man replied that he was an artist and he was looking for materials to use in his art. Mr. Bârlădeanu replied that he was an artist as well and showed him his collages. That artist, Ovidiu Fenes, was astounded by what he saw and introduced Ion Bârlădeanu to an art dealer.
Mr. Bârlădeanu has quickly become an art celebrity in Europe. Filmaker Alexander Nanau has made a documentary about him for HBO and this past Febuary he had a show at the Anne de Villepoix gallery in Paris. His collages are fetching prices upwards of €1,000 a piece.