The Art Of Memories
A Connection with
By Phoenix Douangchai
Art. It’s a place to express ones feelings and emotions. A place to calm down to relax.
A place for memories…
Art is commonly and publicly known as a visual medium where an artist paints, sculpts and creates things from their mind at the time, or through past experiences. Artist William Utermohlen expresses and creates his own memoir through the use of his own experiences both past and present. The London based artist is commonly recognized as the person who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease who created and documented his experience of his illness through the use of self-portraits. Utermohlen’s most commonly used mediums include oil on canvas, mixed media on paper, and pencil on paper. Throughout his life as time passed, the ability to recognize himself ceased to exist turning recognizable self-portraits into simple yet powerful facial features.
“These Portraits are just another way of documenting my life.” – William Utermohlen, 1996.
Diagnosed in 1995, Utermohlen pursued an 8 year-long project documenting his own life. His first Artwork through this journey was labelled Blue Skies and shows himself in an empty-featureless room clamped to the table as the roof starts to disperse.
(Blue Skies, 1995, Oil on Canvas, 152x122cm)
Utermohlen’s primarily used colours in this artwork was the use of different shades of blue and yellow. The dark blue sweater represented is his illness whereas the yellow represented is his home. A place where everyone is supposed to feel warm. Utermohlen’s use of colours to
represent the beginning of his illness is a piece of documentation of where it first occurred. The tone of the colours complement the meaning behind the painting as the darker shades represents his form of “evil” and the brighter shades represents his home where memories are often made. These two colours work in balance and are evenly distributed throughout the artwork. The artwork isn’t bursting with a wide range of colour or techniques but it makes up for it being minimalistic and simple focusing on his experience with Alzheimer’s. The shapes in this artwork is mostly composed of simple geometric shapes such as squares, diamonds and rectangles. Although simple, it’s a m...