17 March 2009

Esref Armagan - The Blind Artist from Ankara, Turkey

Meet Esref Armagan. He's been blind since birth. He's never seen light, shadow, color, shape or perspective. He is now an artist who lives in the Ankara region of Turkey.

Armagan learned the shapes with his hands, and about colors in the world around him. As a youngster, he began translating what his hands and fingertips had taught him into shapes carved onto cardboard with a nail and eventually onto paper. At the age of six, he was drawing with pencil and paper.

Armagan now paints as well. Using his left hand to feel outlines carved with his Braille stylus, he uses his right fingertips to apply the paint. His colors are lined up in a certain order, so he knows which color is which. He initially tried oil paints but their drying time was too long so Armagan switched to using faster-drying acrylics. He paints with one color and lets it dry before moving on to another color.

Aramagan has participated in over 20 exhibitions - Turkey, The United States, China, Italy, The Czech Republic, Holland and Cyprus as well as the VSArts Festival in Washington, D.C. He also has a wonderful website. He has been on television and the subject of several documentaries.

Previous scientific thought about how the brains works has been challenged by Armagan's talent. He has taught us that the brain can "rewire" itself according to our individual needs. Armagan has participated in several research studies, helping to further knowledge. See the video below. It's a very interesting documentary on Armagan regarding his contribution to science.

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