Londonist was entranced and enthralled by a story of mnemonic skill and artistic brilliance this morning. This Londonista had to her chagrin never heard of Stephen Wiltshire until today. The man’s a genius, well worth his 2006 MBE. His feat? With a mere fifteen minutes’ or so of flying time above pretty much any city, he can reproduce a panoramic vista with the minutiae of every building and landmark noted therein. Bloody hell – Londonist can’t even remember where we put our coffee five minutes ago or the colour of Londonist Towers’ front door.
And this is not just about having a brilliant memory. No drab architectural diagrams are these: Wiltshire’s drawings are beautifully executed, full of character. Unfortunately the guy’s international profile is so high, and his pictures are in such demand that our office kitty won’t stretch to even a wee print. Which is a shame, ‘cos he’s just completed a practically perfect 13ft sketch of our fair city which would’ve looked great on our wall.
Ho-hum. We’ll have to make do with watching Channel Five’s forthcoming documentary about his extraordinary skill and the creation of this new work.
By the way, Stephen is what they call an autistic artistic savant. We just call him jolly talented.
You can watch ‘Extraordinary People: The Human Camera’ on Channel 5 on April 9th at 9pm.
Picture with permission from the artist’s own website.