Can you draw from memory? Would you be able to re-create New York City, which took hundreds of years to build, after a two-and-a-half-hour helicopter ride?
The artist Stephen Wiltshire, who is autistic and lives outside London, definitely can. He is able to draw detailed panoramas of expansive cities after flying over them in helicopters. Pretty cool! This amazing talent got him a new project: the “We will not rest” campaign for Swiss bank UBS.
Wiltshire is creating an extraordinary ad––250 feet long and seven feet wide––that will be displayed in the international arrivals hall in Terminal 1 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. It is part of a campaign for UBS by the London office of Publicis Worldwide, part of the Publicis Groupe. “The whole idea, in financial services terms, is attention to detail, commitment to even the smallest things to make the big picture successful,” said Jay Williams, executive vice president and executive creative director at the Publicis New York office.
Wiltshire is creating the panoramic view of NYC from memory only. The 37-year-old artist’s autism affects his social interactions, but it has also given him a photographic memory––and the ability to draw what he has seen. “I just looked without drawing,” said Wiltshire to a Daily News reporter back in 2009, describing a helicopter ride over NYC for an earlier project.
Author: Marina Kaljaj