Art is almost singular in its ability to turn visual experiences into moments of introspection.
Although it’s first and foremost thought of as being a visual medium, any creator will tell you that the process is equally as affirming as staring at the finished product. Just ask artist George Wurtzel.
He’s been a woodworker for as long as he can remember, and when he’s not bringing his own visions to life, he’s teaching others to tap into their creative potential. His stunning career is made all the more impressive when you consider the fact that he’s completely blind. Like Beethoven pressing his ear to the floor, Wurtzel sees each piece with his hands, relying on the tactile nature of his art to visualize the finished product.
With that in mind, artist Andrew Myers teamed up with Cantor Fine Art to help this blind visionary see himself for the first time.
With a combination of screws, Myers creates 3-D portraits that can be seen with eyes and fingertips. That’s the approach he took when creating Wurtzel’s image.
After drilling screws into the base board to generate a sculptural portrait based on Wurtzel’s facial structure, the artist added some finishing touches by painting each screw head.
Everyone involved knew that the 13-hour drive from Laguna Beach to Napa Valley to surprise Wurtzel with his portrait would be well worth it. Without telling him what was going on, they guided the woodworker to the picture and let him piece it together on his own.
Months of hard work and one seriously long journey culminated in a revelatory moment of self-awareness. For the first time in his life, George Wurtzel was able to see himself in a work of art.
To learn more about this collaboration and to witness Wurtzel’s joy for yourself, check out the video below.