Parting words from an artist of rare vision
Not long before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the autumn of 2014, the painter Sargy Mann was invited to give a TED talk. Mann, then 77, was told by doctors that he had only weeks to live. In the event he survived for more than half a year, and he devoted much of that time to working out what he might say to a TED audience.
The subject of his talk was to be a distillation of a lifetime's thinking about painting and visual perception. Mann, who I first wrote about in the New Review in 2010, found it hard to know quite where to start; he had, in a unique way, lived these issues for many decades: he was not just a wonderful and much coveted artist, he was also, for a large part of his painting life, completely blind.