Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire

Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire draws spellbinding 18ft picture of New York from memory… after a 20-minute helicopter ride over city

This astonishing 18ft drawing of the world’s most famous skyline was created by autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire after he spent just 20 minutes in a helicopter gazing at the panorama.

The unbelievably intricate picture was drawn at Brooklyn’s prestigious Pratt Institute from Stephen’s memory, with details of every building sketched in to scale.

Landmarks including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building can be seen towering above smaller buildings after just three days in his spellbinding creation.

Listening intently to his ipod throughout the artistic process – because music helps him – London-born Stephen uses only graphic pens as he commits his photographic memory to the high-grade paper.

Invited by top U.S. television network CBS to display his talents to the American public in a new screen appearance this week, Stephen has dumbfounded art lovers around the globe with sketches of Tokyo, Rome and Hong Kong.

Stephen sketches his layout in pencil first and then scales it within the border, first adding in landmarks before filling out in more intricate detail,’ said Iliana Taliotis, who works with Stephen and his family.

‘He works methodically in short sharp bursts and is even being put on webcam by CBS as he puts his art to paper.’

On his third visit to New York, this is Stephen’s first panorama of the world’s most iconic cityscape.

‘Stephen feels this is his spiritual home,’ said Iliana.

‘There are many similarities between his home, London, and New York that he can relate to.

‘The only difference is that everything is on a bigger scale and with taller, more modern buildings.

‘Cities have always been his passion, and he is drawn to cosmopolitan lifestyles.’