Stephen Wiltshire MBE, (born April 24, 1974) is an architectural artist who has been diagnosed with autism.Wiltshire was born in London, England, to West Indian parents. He is known for his ability to draw a landscape after seeing it just once. He studied Fine Art at City & Guilds Art College. His work is popular all over the world, and is held in a number of important collections.
Wiltshire was mute and at the age of three when he was diagnosed as autistic. The same year, his father died in a motorcycle accident. At the age of five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London where he expressed interest in drawing. He began to communicate through his art. At the age of eight, he started drawing imaginary post-earthquake cityscapes and cars.
His teachers encouraged his drawing and with their aid Wiltshire learned to speak at the age of nine. When he was ten, Wiltshire drew a sequence of drawings of London landmarks, one for each letter, that he called a "London Alphabet".
In 1987, Wiltshire was part of a BBC programme The Foolish Wise Ones. A collection of his works, named Drawings, was published that year. Wiltshire can look at a target once and then draw an accurate and detailed picture of it. He once drew the whole of central London after a helicopter trip above it. He can also make imaginary scenes like St. Paul's Cathedral surrounded by flames. In 2003, there was a major retrospective in the Orleans House gallery in Twickenham, London.
Wiltshire's books include Drawings (1987), Cities (1989), Floating Cities (1991), and Stephen Wiltshire's American Dream (1993). His third book—Floating Cities (Michael Joseph, 1991)—was number one on the Sunday Times best-seller list.
In May 2005 Stephen produced his longest ever panoramic memory drawing of Tokyo on a 10-metre long canvas within seven days following a short helicopter ride over the city. Since then he has drawn Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem and London on giant canvasses. When Wiltshire took the helicopter ride over Rome, he drew it in such great detail that he drew the exact number of columns in the Pantheon.
In 2006, Stephen Wiltshire was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to art. In September 2006 Stephen opened his permanent gallery in the Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, London.
In October 2009 Stephen completed the last work in the series of panoramas, an 18ft memory drawing of his spiritual home, New York[. Following a 20 minute helicopter ride over the city he sketched the view of New Jersey, Manhattan, the Financial District, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn over 5 days at Pratt Institute, the world-famous college of art and design, in New York.
His most recent projects included sketching Sydney and visiting to Bermuda National Gallery where the sale of his drawing of Hamilton City broke auction records. In June 2010, Christie's auctioned off[an iconic oil painting of his titled Times Square at Night.
Stephen Wiltshire recently started his tour of China, his first project took him to Shanghai in September 2010.