You have to wonder what was going on inside this guy's head! Not much is known about Alexandre Lobanov except that he was born in Mologa, Russia, lost his hearing at age 7, and was institutionalized by his family at the age of 23. In the 1970s, he started making these elaborate backgrounds of guns, medals, etc...and got a local photographer to do these self-portraits. The works are at once honest, soulful and disturbing all at the same time. Also interesting to see "true" contemporary outsider art vs. some of the assembly-line stuff you see being passed as "outsider". More on this last point on another post, but isn't it interesting (and suspicious) that most contemporary outsider art looks pretty much the same? Not with my boy Alexandre!
(Credit: This photo was taken from the book "Create and Be Recognized", a great catalog to the exhibition of the same name that was at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2005; Photo Courtesy of abcd)