Heartbreaking: This Is What Alzheimer's Can Do To An Artist's Work

by
Zohaib Ahmed
August 8, 2014: A painter paints his artistic struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

The delayed mortality associated with Alzheimer's is why it's one of the most underrated diseases today. But only those who've witnessed it from a close distance will know what kind of destruction it causes to a person's mental ability.

The paintings of American artist William Utermohlen describe this Alzheimer-induced psychological deterioration better than words can.

Utermohlen, who had been drawing his self-portraits since the 1950s, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1995. The stark contrast in the quality of his work before and after his diagnosis reflects the decomposing state of his mind.

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Upon being told of his condition in 1995, Utermohlen kept on painting his own images – probably to make sense of his disease in the only way he knew. Over the years, his spatial sense worsened and his wife says he knew his work was no longer technically perfect, but was unable to do anything about it.

The now 73-year-old Utermohlen no longer paints and is currently being taken care of in a nursing home.

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