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John Bramblitt, 1971 | Palette Knife painting from a blind artist

John Bramblitt is a blind painter living in Denton Texas. He began painting after losing his sight in 2001 after a series of severe seizures. His art has been sold in over twenty countries and he has appeared internationally in print, TV and radio. He has appeared on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, ABC, and BBC Radio, and he's been featured in The New York Times and Psychology Today. He's the subject of the award winning documentary shorts "Line of Sight' and "Bramblitt". His work has received much recognition including the ‘Most Inspirational Video of 2008′ from YouTube and three Presidential Service Awards for his innovative art workshops.

Mr. Bramblitt is also the author of the award winning book, Shouting in the Dark , and is the current selectee for the Texas Governor’s Disability Employment Awareness poster. He currently works as a consultant for museums in developing programs that are designed to include everyone - no matter their ability or disability. Shouting in the Dark is the story of Bramblitt's life, his journey navigating through this new territory of blindness, and how he ultimately rekindles his joy, passion, and relationships through art.

 Prior to his blindness, John studied at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he graduated with honors. When Bramblitt lost the last of his vision 13 years ago due to complications with epilepsy, his hopes of becoming a creative writing teacher were shattered and he sunk into a deep depression. He felt disconnected from family and friends, alienated and alone. But then something amazing happened - he discovered painting. He learned to distinguish between different colored paints by feeling their textures with his fingers. He taught himself how to paint using raised lines to help him find his way around the canvas, and through something called haptic visualization, which enables him to "see" his subjects through touch. He now paints amazingly lifelike portraits of people he's never seen - including his wife and son. 

While art was always a major part of John’s life it was not until he lost his sight in 2001 that he began to paint, and it was then that he says, "Art reshaped my life". John’s paintings are intensely personal, and are mostly taken from real people and events in his life. John’s workshops are unique in the art world in that they not only span the gap between beginning and professional artists, but also include adaptive techniques for people with disabilities. According to John, "Everyone has an artist somewhere in them; sometimes they just need a little help letting it out".

John Bramblitt è un pittore Americano, divenuto cieco nel 2001 dopo un attacco epilettico. In un video YouTube il pittore racconta il suo rapporto tra arte e cecità, mostrando come nascono le sue coloratissime opere d’arte. Bramblitt si concentra sul tatto e sulle texture della vernice per creare dei dipinti incredibilmente colorati, come se la cecità non fosse un problema per le sue mani.
Il pittore ha raccontato di essere un cieco “funzionale”, cioè di riuscire a distinguere solo se è giorno o notte, ma di essere comunque riuscito ad elaborare un suo stile di pittura usando colori dalla particolare consistenza che riesce a riconoscere al tatto:
Quello che faccio in pratica è rimpiazzare ogni cosa che potrebbero vedere i miei occhi con il senso del tatto. Anche le linee delle tele gli permettono di seguire il disegno e muovesi sulla tela come se la vedesse”.
Bramblitt ha poi spiegato di utilizzare particolari boccette per contenere i colori, su cui il nome del colori che contengono è scritto in braill:
Tutte le boccette nel mio studio e i tubetti riportano scritte in braill in modo che riesca a riconoscere i contenitori e che riesca a misurare le quantità per creare le giuste tonalità”.
Il pittore poi ha raccontato di non aver detto nella sua prima mostra di essere cieco:
Nella mia prima mostra non ho detto a nessuno di essere cieco. Non l’ho detto non perché mi vergognavo, ma perché non volevo che le mie opere fossero percepite in modo diverso dal pubblico attraverso il filtro della mia cecità”. | Redazione Blitz quotidiano.

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