This incredible video (it’s a little lengthy but so worth checking out) demonstrates the amazing ability of the autistic mind. This autistic artist flew over Italy in a helicopter and observed. After his flight, he sat down and drew what he saw all by memory. The product is stunning and mind blowing for lack of a better phrase. They call him “the living camera” because of his ability to take photos in his mind and transfer them to paper. Steven did not start speaking or writing until 5 years old. Many people believe that children who are autistic and do not develop at the same rate as a child who is not autistic have no hope of being verbal over this “imaginary threshold” has passed. Steven is just one more example of why there is no manual, no how-to when it comes to understanding autism.
Steven, the man who takes on this incredible task, starts his drawing on a piece of paper over 15′ long with no sketching. He immediately begins in the center with the Church of St. Peter’s and as the narrator explains, he seems to have everything mentally mapped out in his head. Think about when you try to draw something. The proportions, unless you’re a well trained or naturally talented artist, are usually a little off. Without light sketching to create these proportions, someone’s head ends up 50% larger than it should be or that house looks much closer than it actually is. Steven doesn’t need to sketch anything. It’s in his head and all he needs to do is transfer it to the paper. Steve’s efforts take a full three days to complete with painstaking detail.
Upon comparing the accuracy of the drawing against the aerial images, it becomes eerily clear that Steven was in fact taking mental snap shots of these majestic views and was able to completely reproduce them with the most amazing level of accuracy and detail. He even gets the number of columns at one of the buildings correct. If none of this impressed you, check out the detail at approximately 4 minutes into the video of the Colosseum. Some may argue that he studied these famous buildings and was able to recall such detail from previous knowledge but as the video explains, even nameless buildings, homes and side streets are drawn with the same level of accuracy.
This further proves why many people argue that they should be called autistic and not someone with autism. The argument as we pointed out recently here is that saying someone has autism implies it’s a bad thing. How can having so much talent and being able to produce such an amazing masterpiece by memory be a bad thing?