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5 Melancholy Self-Portraits From An Artist With Alzheimer’s

Even the most insidious disease can breed a kind of beauty. Over the course of five years, artist William Utermohlen chronicled his decline via the only medium he knew how.

1. “Blue Skies” - 1995

Courtesy of Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos, Paris

The first self-portrait Utermohlen drew after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

2. “Red” - 1996

Courtesy of Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos, Paris

Utermohlen seems to mourn his sense of self, a shadow of his former life.

3. “Yellow and Green” - 1998

Courtesy of Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos, Paris

Two years later, Utermohlen draws his world as shrinking. He peers out as if trapped behind prison bars.

4. “Erased Self-Portrait” - 1999

Courtesy of Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos, Paris

With limited motor control it becomes difficult for Utermohlen to paint.

5. “Head I” - 2000

Courtesy of Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos, Paris

One of the last images ever drawn by Utermohlen.

He would live for another seven years before passing away on March 21st, 2007.

You can read all about his life and work on his website.

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