Prague, Czech Republic based Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu spent most of his years in the 60’s living on the outskirts of society, depending on other men’s trash and surviving cold nights behind garbage bins. In his spare time, Ion would create amazing pieces that can be described as a mix of Pop art, Surrealism and Dadaism. The hermit-like artist had always kept his work under wraps for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had no one in particular to show it to, and secondly, its often biting political nature meant that while the communist regime held sway in Romania, it had to remain clandestine.
Today we can all enjoy his pieces. Barladeanu sees his works as miniature movies, the act of assembling clipped-out artwork on hand-painted backgrounds akin to the roles of screenwriter and director. While many of his works are infused with comedy or light-hearted satire, others are the stuff of subversive film noir.
Karel Havlíček was a Czech painter who began drawing at the age of 38 years. Working only at night, he followed a ritual reminiscent of the conditioning of the automatic practices. His drawings without premeditation recall, by their spontaneity, spiritualist production. He felt drawn to the monstrous, grotesque or the pathological.
He found fulfillment in visiting natural museums, reading his favorite Kant and Schopenhauer and especially in drawing. He drew a picture every day for tens of years. The communist regime did not allow to display his work and so he was recognized only by a few artists and writers.
Luboš Plný is the only child of a possessive mother. Already as a child he was drawn to two phenomena : graphic art and anatomy. He used to dissect dead animals and in adulthood attended a number of autopsies on human corpses and passed a course in gravedigging.
After leaving elementary school he went into apprenticeship to learn electro-mechanics. There, as a boarder, he was subjected to a semi-military regime. He also had problems maintaining discipline during his military service, which resulted in his transfer to a psychiatric clinic. Consequently he began an intensive study of psychiatric and medical literature. After 1989 he became a model at the Academy of Fine Arts. Luboš Plný signs all his works with a special stamp “Luboš Plný – academic model“.
His works in ink, reworked with acrylic, often contain organic materials : blood, hair, pieces of skin and even teeth. Its main theme is the body, that he explores in anatomical sections with multiple points of view. Despite a realistic precision, he sometimes decides to exclude certain parties, but always pays great attention to the head and genitals. The absence of thyroid on some drawings – a surgery he underwent recently – indicates that we might be in the presence of self-portraits.