Self-Portrait with Saw, 1997, oil on canvas, 35.5x45.5cm
In 1997, the artist learned that his doctors would be unable to definitively diagnose his disease until autopsy. The saw depicted here is an open allusion to this fact.
About the art work: When he learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer’s disease, William Utermohlen, an American artist living in London, immediately began work on an ambitious series of self-portraits. The artist pursued this project over an eight-year period, adapting his style to the growing limitations of his perception and motor skills and creating images that powerfully documented his experience of his illness. The resulting body of work serves as a unique artistic, medical, and personal record of one man’s struggle with dementia.
Return to the main feature, “The Dementia Plague” by Stephen S. Hall.