When I see the word “mental illness,” my mind goes straight to the word “illness.” Then a host of other words start to flow through my mind: disease, disability, impaired, bad, inferior, unworthy. The list continues, but the negative connotation of the words remain the same.
These self-portraits were made by William Utermohlen, a 20th century contemporary artist. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1995. At the onset of his Alzheimer’s, he decided to sketch a portrait of himself once a year until 2000—he died in 2007.