Text and Photography by Zafer KIZILKAYA
Esref Armagan (51) is blind since he was born. His eyes were even not developed at all. However, he paints mountains, waterfalls, butterflies and fishes in great perspective without any idea of light and color. The way Eşref portrays images in a similar way as a sighted person finally caught the attention of the scientific world. A group of scientists from Harvard University invited him to Boston to examine his brain. How does a man who has never seen can sketch perspective and paint with colors? More scientifically, do we use any other senses besides our eyes to build up mental images? John Kennedy, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has spent thirty years of his career exploring art from the perspective of blind people. After knowing about Esref, he was finally able to meet and test Esref in New York. He says “I saw a man who broke through the barriers of criticism, who broke through the assumptions of what it means to be blind.”
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