This guy, Stephen Wiltshire, can accurately draw a diagrammatic rendition of the buildings in Rome, Paris, Tokyo and New York City, after one fly-through. People like him are called "savant", these days, and their trait is considered a form of autism. If not for the other limitations, one might be eager for the syndrome. I am obsessive about my work, but there are variations within it. As I grow (and age) my work addresses different issues in different ways. The savants, I think, don't change much.
I am very impressed that Wiltshire can remember everything he has seen and record those lines and shapes to recreate a panorama of a city. If you look at the link you will see he has been greatly rewarded for his condition.
I am also amazed by the miniatures Willard Wigan create and sells for thousands of dollars. He also claims a mental deficiency provoked him to make the miniatures, but he is not a savant, he has dyslexia and learning disabilities.
Below are images from Nicole Gallery in Chicago where you can see his work.
Unfortunately, I am not amazed that these artists get more respect and news coverage than the artists who develop their "natural gifts" and may spend thousands in training and materials to produce art works that reflect their lives and culture. Let me say that I think Wiltshire has what we like to call talent. I like his renderings of city streets and think he shows a definite point of view. His quirk has taken him a long way. Great for him.
There is no fairness when it comes to art.
The nutty lady who scribbles little pictures on the street is made into an art star because...she, seemingly, makes 3rd grade pictures? Isn't there a difference between an artist who can only do one thing, and an artist who could be a singer or an actor or a math teacher but chooses art.
I admit I don't know if art chooses us or we choose it. I am surer everyone has had different experiences in that regard. But the key word is "Choice". Isn't choice the word that separates man and beast? I know, I know, your dog is really smart, and so's your bird, and your cat is a whiz!
... but you get my point. Shouldn't the definition of artist include the ability to make a conscious choice about what is produced?
American Landscape" Joyce Owens 2009-2010 (detail)