Stephen Wiltshire was diagnosed as autistic at three, did not speak until he was five but as an adult, he sells his art, drawn from memory, for thousands of British pounds.
Last week, Wiltshire hosted an exhibition of his panoramic drawings from Paris, London and Florence, among other cities, during a live drawing session in Mexico City.
Wiltshire was surrounded by media and curious onlookers on Oct. 28 as he drew Mexico City’s skyline, making it the first Latin American city he has drawn.
He has drawn panoramas of New York, Tokyo, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem and London.
Wiltshire says his unique memory allows him to store the complete view of a city after taking a helicopter ride that lasts only minutes, remembering small details he incorporates into his work.
“I remember the windows, the stories, floors, counting as many floors, and everything, a lot of information I could get, that’s how I remembered it and scenery, like a scene on TV and the pictures and the scenery.”
Wiltshire’s gift was discovered during a difficult childhood. He could not relate to the world, and one of the few things that calmed him was to draw.
The early depictions of animals and London buses have evolved into the cityscapes, buildings and landmarks that make him an internationally recognized artist.
His main media are pen and ink, pencils, chalk, charcoal and coloured pastels on paper.
Wiltshire spoke about his ability to memorize city panoramas.
“I think I dreamed about cities I could memorize from a helicopter ride and doing a panorama and cities, drawing and thinking about cities and landmarks, buildings from doing my drawing.”
He was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in 2006 for services to the art world.