Wednesday, September 14, 2011
New York City, By Heart. An autistic artist, Stephen Witshire, drawing an 18-foot portrait of New York City based only on what he remembered from a 20-minute helicopter ride over the city. His finished photo can be found here, along with more art from the London-based artist.
[Stephen Wiltshire, via capitalnewyork]
Let’s assume autism has always existed. Let’s take an even greater leap and assume that Mr. Wiltshire’s type of autism—a natural ability to perfectly reproduce images from memory in three dimensions—has always been around. Rare, but there.
If we look at the earliest examples of art, we see a sort of melding of the symbolic and the representational: stick figures, an approximation of the shapes of people, of animals, of things. And suffice it to say, this is art; even to the modern eye, exquisite. To the people who made it and those who first laid eyes on it, some of that art must have captured imaginations and inspired awe.
So where would Stephen’s ability have fit in at that time? Is it possible we might not have even understood it until we had made the collective mental leap to 3D representation (centuries later)? Could it have even existed? If it did exist—as talent, or impulse—surely the person who carried it was more than a little frustrated; even if they did have the tools to make the images, they would quickly learn they had no audience.
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.
(Source: patrickharris, via wnyc)