Stephen Wiltshire will be the first international artist to be featured in the gallery of the new K+ multi-concept store. The British artist is celebrated for his prodigious ability to draw lifelike, accurate representations of cities from memory after having only observed them briefly. Even more astoundingly, he can easily render scenes he saw years ago with the same accuracy.
Stephen’s amazing talent despite his autism and developmental challenges has led to him being recognised as a prodigious savant. “Stephen is not just an extraordinary artist, his personal story is just as remarkable,” says Carolyn Teo, co-founder of Kinetic Singapore. “To us, the exhibition is not only a showcase of his phenomenal talent, it shows just how much we can achieve and overcome if we are passionate about something.”
Stephen’s early childhood was difficult; he could not communicate with others and lived entirely in his own world. Only later at school did teachers manage to reach Stephen through the language he was — and is — most adept at: drawing. He finally spoke his first words (“paper” and “pen”) when he was five and he has not stopped drawing since.
He first drew animals, then London buses, then buildings. The last subject proved to be one Stephen was particularly fond of, and his drawings of landmarks started to gain him attention for their masterful perspective and whimsical line, revealing a natural innate artistry. When he was just eight, he was commissioned by former British Prime Minister Edward Heath to draw Salisbury Cathedral.
Following his appearance on the BBC programme ‘The Foolish Wise Ones’, Stephen’s fame grew. He published a book, the first of many, at the age of 12. Over the years, he has been invited to tour the world and draw many famous cities. An artist in his own right, Stephen’s drawings are no mere technical replicas, but works of art imbued with his individual creativity — wonderfully capturing the sensibility of a building, its character and voice.
In 2006, Stephen was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the art world. Today Stephen continues to be recognised as a leading architectural artist, and his work is held in a number of important collections all over the world.
For his exhibition at K+, Stephen has specially drawn a series oflocal landmarks in his instantly recognisable, inimitable style. This will be the first time Stephen’s original works are available for sale in Singapore. Visitors can also view theSingapore Panorama Stephen drew, on loan to the K+ gallery.
Venue: K+, Scotts Square, #01-K1, #03-11, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209
When: 19 August to 2 October, 2016