Self portraits by William Utermohlen

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2000_william utermohlen_henri snel 011999_william utermohlen_henri snel 011998_william utermohlen_henri snel 011997-1_william utermohlen_henri snel 01A self-portrait of William Utermohlen from 19611996-1_william utermohlen_henri snel 011996_william utermohlen_henri snel 011997_william utermohlen_henri snel 01

In 1995 at age 61, William Utermohlen, an American artist living in London, received a devastating diagnosis. He had Alzheimer’s. In response to his illness (or perhaps to spite it) he began to paint self-portraits. They became a way for him to try to understand his condition.

Until he was admitted to a nursing home in 2000, Utermohlen painted regular portraits of himself during those first years of his diagnosis. What we see is a man struggling to remain in touch with the world around him. Utermohlen passed away in 2007, but his self portraits have lived on as a way for us to understand the devastation of Alzheimer’s.