Johann Garber grew up in southern Austria, raised by his grandmother and also living in children’s homes. Since 1968 he has been receiving psychiatric treatment, and drawing since 1975.
In 1981, Garber took up residence in the Haus der Künstler (Artist’s House) at the Gugging Hospital near Vienna where the walls of his room are covered with images and pictures, a parallel to the visual congestion often seen in his drawings. Garber began to explore painting in 1983, and has applied his talents to found objects and the architecture of the Haus der Künstler, most notably painting the boiler tank of the house.
Preferring to work at night for the lack of interruptions, Garber finds a base for his work in his observations of the things, people, and places around him, as well as images in books and magazines. As he says, “I just draw what I see around me.”