Artist recreate cityscape


 
 
 
In a single glance artist can recreate an entire cityscape
Page 97 of 136


Artist recreates cityscape

The world's most famous autistic artist sat quietly with a pad of paper yesterday and sketched Maple Leaf Gardens in less than an hour.

Stephen Wiltshire, who is visiting Toronto from London, England, actually started a little late because he wanted to take photos of other buildings with his disposable camera, so he could draw more Canadian illustrations back home.

'The CN Tower is my favourite,' he explained. 'I've never been here before.'

Mr. Wiltshire, 25, is in town to take part in a show called Celebrating the Creativity Within, which features the work of four well known autistic artists. It is sponsored by the Geneva Centre for Autism. Owners of the Maple Leaf Gardens herd Mr. Wiltshire was going to be in Toronto and commissioned him to immortalize the building on paper. The 68-year-old hockey shrine is up for sale and may be demolished.

Mr. Wiltshire is known for his ability to reproduce on paper the most complex architectural structures. He can draw whole cityscapes after a quick glance. Yesterday, he immediately sat down and started sketching. He smiled and chatted as he shaded in rows of tiny windows and seemed oblivious to the traffic and staring passersby as he produced a highly detailed drawing.

'I like having fun drawing.' he said. 'I see something and it goes in my head and I remember it and then I draw it. Maybe a double decker bus, maybe Canary Wharf, maybe a Cadillac.

Mr. Wiltshire became a sensation at the age of 13 after the airing of a BBC documentary about his work. His artistic talent prompted architect Sir Hugh Casson to herald him as 'the best child artist in Britain.' Not long after he was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, his father was killed in a motorcycle accident. For a long time, he would not talk and would throw tantrums if anyone tried to touch him. At age four he was sent to a special-needs school where, despite being mute, he began to draw.

His art has opened up a channel of communication, his agent and mentor, Margaret Hewson, said yesterday. 'It has given him huge confidence, a means of expression,' she said. 'His drawing gives him enormous pleasure and awareness of himself.'

Wearing a black leather jacket and a black tuque yesterday, Mr. Wiltshire shook hands and easily talked about his drawings.

When he was 19, he found out he had a parallel musical talent – he has perfect pitch, and has become a natural performer. His favourite songs are Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel and Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual. 'I just love that one,' he said, singing a few bars.

Since the BBC documentary, he has published four books of his works and finished a degree course in drawing and painting at City and Guilds London Art School. He is the first graduate with autism. He is now a full-time artist, selling works such as the Maple Leaf Gardens piece for about $2,500.

But Mr. Wiltshire, who lives with his mother and sister in London, has limitations. If the conversation jumps to more than one topic, he quickly becomes confused. He doesn't understand the concept of money. He has never been able to form proper relationships. If you ask him who his friends are, he will give the names of characters on television.

He also loves American cars. 'But I like pop music, too, like the Backstreet Boys,' he added. 'He lives very completely in his head,' said Ms. Hewson. 'We try to bring him out.'



Exhibitions

Stephen Wiltshire Exhibitions
Stephen's shows attract large number of visitors worldwide. Will your city be the next in his diary?

Press office

Stephen Wiltshire's press office
Download Stephen's biography, key dates and press brief. Find answers to your interview questions.

Image library

Stephen Wiltshire's press office
Photographs of a Genius in action from the late 1970s to today for press use or illustration purposes.

London gallery

Stephen Wiltshire's London Studio
Stephen Wiltshire's private art gallery is located in Notting Hill, London, welcoming his collectors on an appointment basis.

  • Shopping

    You can pay by most major credit and debit cards, PayPal and bank transfer online. We ship worldwide on a daily basis and you can also purchase original drawings for collection from our private London gallery. Stephen also continues to fulfill commissions for his clientele. Shopping

  • Delivery

    We deliver worldwide on a daily basis while your parcel is fully covered by our Lloyds policy throughout its journey. Shipping costs start from £3.99 within UK and £17.99 to anywhere in the world depending on its dimensions and weight. All parcels are packaged professionally. More on shipping

  • Commissions

    Stephen continues to fulfill on commissions for his clientele. Feel free to contact us if you have a particular view or city in mind. Please note, there may be a waiting list. Commissions
  • Press office

    Information for journalists and publishers about Stephen Wiltshire including press releases, key dates, biography, his rider, Q&A and publishing rights. Our archive and image library are also available to you, once you brief us about the context and direction of your publication. Please contact us if you wish to schedule an interview with Stephen. Press Office

  • Returns

    If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase, let us know within 21 days, and we will offer you a full refund no questions asked. We also offer free replacement in case your parcel is damaged or lost in transit. Shop with confidence

  • Who we are

    Stephen Wiltshire Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Our address is 22 Palace Court, Notting Hill, London, W2 4HU, United Kingdom. Company no.: 12518766. About us