Stephen Wiltshire is an autistic, artistic savant. This means that although he is disabled in areas like speech, when it comes to art and memory, his abilities are out of this world. Stephen can draw accurate aerial panoramic views of cities like Tokyo, Rome and New York City. Sketching completely from memory after short helicopter rides, Stephen’s unique ability to draw cities down to the last detail is astonishing.
Born in London in 1974, Stephen was mute until the age of 5, and drawing—for him—was a form of communication that made up for what he lacked in speech. At the Queensmill School in London Stephen’s drawing ability came to light, first with his drawings of animals, then buses, and finally buildings. Stephen drew a perfect aerial view of London at age 11 after a single helicopter ride, just a few years after mastering speech at the age of 9 (his first word was, unsurprisingly, “Paper.”)
Fast-forward from his childhood and one can see that Stephen has made the most of his abilities. Studying Fine Art at City & Guilds Art College, Stephen eventually post-graduated in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking, and he was awarded an MBE for service to the Art world in 2006.
Stephen Draws a New York City Panorama after a 20-minute helicopter ride. The details of every building are sketched to scale:
Stephen draws Rome after seeing it for the first time during a 45 minute helicopter ride. Stephen finishes the panorama in 3 days:
Today Stephen maintains a gallery in London (at 5 Royal Opera Arcade Pall Mall) as well as an online shop to sell his works: http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/gallery.aspx