Óscar Morales Martinez was born into a modest family in 1951 in Copiapó, in northern Chile. His father worked as a driver for the national mining company while his mother raised their six children. Like his brothers, he grew up in the town's dusty streets, nevertheless completing both primary and high school. From an early age, he showed great interest in literature and the arts.
At the age of 17, Morales served his three-year compulsory military service. When he finished, he began showing the first signs of paranoid schizophrenia. Between 1975 and 1995, he was hospitalized several times in a psychiatric institution before returning to Copiapó. His illness was sufficiently complex for him to be hospitalized there permanently. “It was my last hope of being saved,” he says.
He recalls that while confined to bed, he began to draw “in the sky” of his room. In 1999, Morales developed his famous “alphabetical and numerical valence formula” which he used to create machines and compulsively draw cells, nuclei, atoms and radios, using laptops and drawing on book covers and differently sized sheets of drawing paper. “I wanted to create something noble that would be useful for everyone. This mathematical formula is sophisticated; I invented it to improve and increase computer capacity”, he explains.
For the past ten years, Morales has been living at a psychatric hospital along six other chronically ill patients, participating in painting, literature, radio and computer workshops.
do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art gallery, from april 26th to june 2nd, 2018.
exposicion radio estacion locura, museo de artes visuales, santiago du chili, du 3 février au 3 mai 2018.
heterotopias : architectural dwellings, curator : matali crasset, christian berst art brut gallery, from december 2nd, 2017 to january 20th, 2018.
brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, curator christian berst, associated curators: brut pop, musées de belfort, belfort, from october 29th to january 16th, 2017.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, works from the treger saint silvestre collection, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, from june 18th to february 28th, 2017.
beyond the boundaries 2013, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from september 7th to october 12th, 2013.
do the write thing, read between the lines, christian berst art brut gallery, new york, united states, from october 30th to december 21th, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., 2018.
revue multitudes, n°69, winter, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, heterotopias : architectural dwellings, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, les presses du réel ed., musées de belfort, belfort, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing : read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., new york, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, oscar morales in colecção, treger-saint silvestre collection, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, rentrée hors-les-normes découvertes et nouvelles acquisitions 2013, christian berst ed., paris, 2013.