William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1995. The UK-based artist went on to paint a series of self-portraits over a five year period, which illustrate the demise of his mind due to the crippling degenerative brain disease.
In an essay by Utermohlen’s widow, Patricia, the artist’s wife explains: “In these pictures we see with heart-breaking intensity William’s efforts to explain his altered self, his fears and his sadness.”
Scroll through the dated self portraits below, right up until the artist’s death in 2005. You’ll notice that by the end of the series, Utermohlen could barely recognise his own face. Either that or he had forgotten by then how to paint. Either way, it’s devastating.