4 out of 5 people who are blind
don’t need to be.Watch the video
to see more
Right now 253 million people suffer from vision loss and blindness - but 4 out of 5 don’t need to. We can end this injustice, and make universal access to quality eyecare a reality.
Art has always been a major part of John’s life, but it was not until he lost his sight that he began to paint. “Art reshaped my life” John says, and his works have now achieved international success.
Brooklyn based street artist, Tony “Rubin” Sjöman, is a staple of the New York art scene thanks to his distinctive abstract geometric pieces that draw on his Scandinavian heritage.
When John lost the last of his vision in 2001 due to complications with epilepsy and Lyme's disease, his hopes of becoming a creative writing teacher were shattered and he was left feeling disconnected from family and friends, alienated and alone. But then 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 life-like portraits of people he's never seen--including his wife and son.
John’s story is incredible and he continues to do amazing work with other visually impaired artists, but he is also passionate about making sure those with sight keep it. That’s why he has joined the See Now movement to raise awareness this World Sight Day about the injustice of avoidable blindness.
“I want to send a very positive message, that working together we can and will make a difference”
Brooklyn based mural and studio artist Tony “Rubin” Sjöman has painted all over the world and his work has been shown in galleries throughout the US and Europe. Rubin’s roots are in Scandinavia, the son of Finnish immigrant workers he draws inspiration from his gritty upbringing in the working class housing projects of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the tram tunnels where he first learned his craft.
Now, he has become a staple of the New York City art scene. Rubin joined this project because he was excited to draw attention to the issue of avoidable blindness, and for the unique collaboration that working with John allowed.
Rubin resides in Brooklyn NYC but he’s just as home in the wilderness of Lapland where he spends the summers with his wife and son in a log house among reindeer and underneath the midnight sun.