b. 1955, Petrăchioaia, Romania
d. 2015, New York City, NY, USA





As a baby, Ionel Talpazan was given away by his parents. He had an unhappy childhood with his foster parents, who mistreated him. At the age of eight, he had a UFO encounter when he stayed at a lake near his home village Maineasca to escape the blows of his foster parents. A "beautiful blue light of energy" of extraterrestrial origin had descended from the sky and enveloped him. From that moment, Talpazan was certain he was blessed with an inexplicable knowledge of UFO technology that he could not withhold from humanity. He did not know how this alien information came to him. He simply had it at his disposal. Four years later he began to record this knowledge in drawings.

In 1987 Ionel Talpazan fled Romania by swimming through the Danube and he was granted asylum in the USA. He settled in New York and began to draw and paint frenziedly. Many of his works depict cross sections and meticulous diagrams of the inner life of extraterrestrial flying objects often in brightly colored segments. He also produced intensely psychedelic-looking images reminiscent of apocalyptic celestial phenomena with spacecraft squadrons in spiral swirls and galactic nebulae. On his pictures he often wrote notes and theories in a personal hybrid language of Romanian and English. 

The walls of his one-room flat in Harlem were completely wallpapered with his artworks. Later he also made painted plaster sculptures of flying saucers mounted on blue pedestals to represent the blue light of his transformative childhood experience. In his works Talpazan explored a way to use cosmic powers for the benefit of mankind. He saw his work as a collaboration of art and science.

Towards the end of his life, Ionel Talpazan received American citizenship and changed his name to Adrian da Vinci. 

Talpazan, who sold his paintings to passers-by on the street outside the yearly Outsider Art Fair in New York, is now one of the stars of Outsider Art. His works can be found in many important collections and museums.



2013 The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, London
2013 Farfetched: Mad Science, Fringe Architecture and Visionary Engineering, Gregg Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina
1999 We Are Not Alone: Angels And Other Aliens, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore
1997 Ionel Talpazan, Musée d'Art Brut, Neuilly-sur-Marne
1997 Ionel Talpazan - UFO Art & Science, American Primitive Gallery, New York



Patton, Phil, Dreamland, Travels Inside the Secret World of Roswell and Area 51. New York: Villard, 1998.
Rugoff, Ralph (ed.), The Alternative Guide to the Universe. Exhibition catalogue, Hayward Publishing, 2013.
Swislow, William, "Folk Art in the City." Journal of the Folk Art Society of America, 11, 3, 1998.
Tobler, Jay, "Ionel Talpazan: Traveler in Space," Folk Art Society of America, 3, 3, 1990.
Wojcik, Daniel, "Ionel Talpazan's Mysterious Technology." Raw Vision, No. 45, Winter 2003.
Wojcik, Daniel, Outsider Art: Visionary Worlds and Trauma. University Press of Mississippi, 2016.

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