Probably the best blind painter in Peckham…

Being the title of a very fine looking monograph of the work of Sargy Mann.  Nowadays Sargy is completely blind and paints by an ingenious system of blu tac and memory. You can see a short clip of him on the BBC here.

He has a show of new and old work at Cadogan Contemporary in South Kensington.

Sargy Mann

Sargy Mann


Sargy is a former painting teacher of mine when I was at Camberwell. I recall him being a pretty stubborn headstrong character, and it is no surprise that blindness did not deter him from painting.  For him painting is a vocation – but it has obviously forced him to change his approach. Whereas his work was completely observational before, now he relies on memories and images from inside. As an expert on the work of Bonnard and a great admirer of Corot he struggled to see anything worthwhile in the wave of neo-Expressionism that was prevalent when I was a student. However the new work, after the initial amazement of how it is produced, seems as if it is heading squarely for the territory of Expressionism. Emil Nolde is particularly close – there is a boldness to the colour that perhaps being cut off from the perception of the original has freed.

His markmaking has always been energetic, impatient even but now this is combined with a tactile, reaching quality. When he talks about painting now he still speaks in terms of seeing what he puts down on the canvas – a fascinating implication of an artist’s vision being realised as the work is created.



3 comments on “Probably the best blind painter in Peckham…

  1. Anny Langer says:

    Reblogged this on Anny Langer artwork and commented:

  2. […] some sight in one eye back then. Subsequently he lost all his sight, but has continued to paint – I looked at one of his shows last year. An extraordinary inspiration to all of us struggling for commitment and […]

  3. […] can read his obituary here, and also my previous two posts about him and his work here (2013) and […]

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