Richard Vouro: life with eyes wide open (20 photos)

29 March 2024
Category: painting, 0+

Richard Vouro (1952-2006) became famous for showing everyone that in order to see beauty and share it with the world, you don’t really need vision in the usual sense.

When the boy was three years old, his parents were told that he was moderately to severely developmentally delayed. The toddler also exhibited significant autistic behavior with the characteristic pattern of monotony, withdrawal, walking in circles, endlessly spinning objects, and pressing the same piano key for hours at a time. The boy did not speak until he was 11 years old. As a child, he required cataract surgery in both eyes.

Richard began drawing on chalkboard at about 3 years old. He immediately covered the tiny board with numerous images. At the age of 6, he went to a children's center, where he was introduced to drawing with crayons, and his enormous talent immediately emerged.

When Richard was 12 years old, professor at the Polish School of Art in London, Marian Bogusz-Szyszko, looked at Richard's drawings and was amazed. He described Richard's work as "an incredible phenomenon, executed with the precision of a mechanic and the vision of a poet."

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Like other savants (people with the “island of genius”), Richard had a phenomenal memory.

He remembered where he drew each picture and dated them accurately in his mind. He did not use models for his drawings, but drew from images he had seen only once, on television or in a book in one of the bookstores he liked to visit.

He remembered everything perfectly, but often added his own touches, interpretations or improvisations to the images. He was especially fascinated by light - its sources and dispersion. The tones he used to convey the light and shadows were incredible.

Richard held his first exhibition in Edinburgh when he was 17 years old. Now the artist-savant is known all over the world. One of his exhibitions was opened by Margaret Thatcher when she was Minister of Education. She acquired several paintings by the savant artist, as did Pope John Paul II.

In 1983, the touching film “Eyes Wide Open” was released, which received many awards in many countries. Dr. Lawrence Becker, who directed it, said that the film allows the viewer to experience Richard Vouro both as a highly gifted artist and as a person. It shows the conditions that allowed Richard's spirit and talent to grow and develop. The life of this extraordinary artist and his work serve as clear proof of the strength and resilience of the human creative spirit.

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