In the last few hours, a photo that collects a series of self-portraits that the American painter made over the course of his life has gone viral on Twitter William Utermohlen. The artist was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1995 and seeing the differences in the paintings he has made as his disease progressed is devastating.
The first image in the collection, which is from 1967, is a far cry from the last self-portrait in the photo, which dates back to the year 2000.
“Despite facing such difficult circumstances, Utermohlen decided to channel her condition into her artwork and began creating a series of self-portraits between 1995 and 2000. The comparison above shows an original self-portrait from 1967,” she explains @historiaenmemes account.
The tweet has more than 6 million views and more than 33,000 likes. Many users were shocked to enjoy, perhaps for the first time, Utermohlen’s powerful final work.
“Wow, that’s shocking”, “Really hard”, “Just sad”. Most of the netizens who responded to the tweet couldn’t help but express their feelings after seeing the artist’s progressive work.
“What you don’t see are the even scarier years 2001-2007, because I probably didn’t know what to do with a pencil. After a loved one goes through this, I wish it on no one and we need treatment as soon as possible,” one person reflected.
Who was William Utermohlen?
William Utermohlen was an American artist (originally from Philadelphia) born in 1933 but living in London since 1962 who distinguished himself, among other things, for the paintings he made while he was ill.
The painter brings them together in a five-year work of self-portraits (1995-2000) known as conversation pieces. In it, as we said, clearly shows the evolution and the passage of time in relation to his state of health.
Utermohlen was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford. In England he knows the art historian Patricia Redmondwith whom he married and shared his life until his last days in a neurology hospital in Queen Square.
His final drawings were in pencil. He did them in 2002. Since then his deterioration has gone from bad to worse, so much so that in 2004 his family admitted him to the Princess Louise nursing home.
Three years later, precisely on March 21, 2007, Utermohlen died at Hammersmith Hospital in London.
In addition to the famous self-portraits, the artist has created two large murals for two London institutions, the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, in Saint John’s Wood, and the Royal Free Hospital, in Hampstead.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.