Óscar Morales

Chile, 1951

Óscar Fernando Morales Martínez is a Chilean artist and poet. Trained as a mechanic and electrician, he began making art early in life, but his work became more concentrated after he was hospitalized in a psychiatric institution. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a young man, shortly after his compulsory military service. In the hospital he continued to draw and paint prolifically, using markers, pencil, and tempera on paper. In his drawings, Morales Martínez employs a repetitive, self-invented formula: the code of a noble supercomputer composed of lines, words, and numbers. Most of his works feature a ruler drawn frame, inside of which are electric circuits, aliens, video cameras, birds, Internet orbits, teddy bears, angels, and light bulbs. Morales Martínez makes images that refer to the divine, the animal world, “electronic dreams” (possibly linked to electroconvulsive therapy), memories of his mother, and his childhood in Copiapó, a desert mining city in the north of Chile. Technology, autobiography, and mythological creations are mixed together in a contained cosmos—a spiritual datasheet where everything can be explained within the page.

Source: Amelia Bande, 11ª Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

© Courtesy christian berst art brut