Atlas Alzheimer's ad shows the dark side of victim's painting

The remarkable changes in the work of the artist William Utermohlen

as he succumbed to Alzheimer's disease are being featured in new

advertising for the charity which helps its victims.

Atlas, the Cordiant group subsidiary, produced the new cinema commercial

for the Alzheimer's Society to coincide with the opening of Richard

Eyre's film, Iris, about the novelist Iris Murdoch, who was also a


Even though Alzheimer's was first diagnosed in 1901, its exact cause

remains a mystery. It is the most common form of dementia, affecting

about 500,000 people in the UK and 20 million worldwide.

Utermohlen was diagnosed in 1997. He continued to paint self-portraits

until last year when he became so weak he could no longer hold a


His portraits produced during that time have been acclaimed as some of

the most powerful of his career and a dramatic depiction of the inner

chaos caused by degenerative brain disease.

The ad shows a sequence of Utermohlen's work as a voiceover asks: "Has

this artist chosen to change his style, to paint darker pictures?" It

then answers: "No, he hasn't changed his mind. His mind has changed


The work was written by Andy Imrie, art directed by Gary Smith and

directed by Patricia Murphy of Patricia Murphy Productions. Media is

being bought by Equinox.

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