Argentina, 1937 - 2019
Aníbal Brizuela is an enigmatic figure and his past is shrouded in mystery. He seems to have spent his entire life wandering the vast grounds of the Colonia de Oliveros Psychiatric Hospital, a few miles from Rosario (Argentina). A small, thin man, he rarely talked; instead, he drew compulsively. He left his works described as oracles—in various parts of the hospital, as if they were messages. However, Brizuela never took up the offer to join the other patients in the institution’s drawing workshop. He only agreed to show his work in the workshop’s end-of-year show, held at the Artebacdès salon in 2005, and the Macro Museum in 2007, where hundreds of his drawings were displayed on a seven-metre-long wall. Brizuela’s drawings, in coloured ballpoint pen, are reminiscent of Chinese Dazibaos (big-character posters). His highly structured works, rich in mystical and political references and symbols and containing references to current events, are striking both in their sibylline content and the freedom of their formal characteristics.