Russia, 1925 - 1990
Alexander Pavlovich Lobanov was a Russian outsider artist known particularly for his detailed self-portraits and the frequent representation of guns. Born in Mologa in 1924, Lobanov contracted meningitis before five years old and was left deaf and mute. He was interned in a psychiatric hospital in 1947, apparently after displaying aggressive behaviour towards his family. Later he was transferred to a less restrictive hospital in 1953. It was there that he was introduced to drawing by himself. For over fifty years he produced hundreds of works with very little variety in style or content. His tools were consistent, staying with ink, pencil, coloring pencils, and felt-tip pens throughout the years. His subject matter strayed little from his taste for detailed selfportraits, often with himself being portrayed similarly to russian revolutionary icons, almost always carrying or surrounded by rifles, machine guns, swords, and other various weapons. Lobanov made frequent references to the psychiatric institution or staff surrounding him. In the 1970s, Lobanov took an intense interest in photography. His photographic portraits were similar to his drawings as he would stage himself, creating his own environment and firearms from cardboard paper with ornaments and communist symbols. His artworks were first exhibited in Yaroslavl as part of the INYE (“Others”) project and are now part of the most important international Art Brut collections.