The 1970s saw Romania open up to international exchange to a certain degree (though travel to the West was banned). Counter-culture, music and art influences could be experienced through Western magazines. Cornel Brudaşcu’s work from the early 1970s reflects these conditions.

Having become familiar with contemporary American art, Brudaşcu experimented with portraiture, combining representations of family and friends with compositions borrowed from Western sources. In Guitarist, for example, he transposes the face of a friend onto the body of a rock musician, appropriating the iconic power of the publicity image. At the same time, works such as Youth on the Building Yard engaged with the official proletcult art of this period, which aimed to reflect the spirit of the communist collective. His use of bright colour and photographic experiment were, however, ideologically off-message.