Johnny Depp has revealed a self-portrait he painted during his tumultuous court battle with his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The artwork, titled ‘Five’, was completed in the studio of British illustrator Ralph Steadman earlier this year. Depp began working on the piece in 2021 and recently showcased it through Castle Fine Art, with a starting price of $2,503 for a limited 13-day sale.
In a video interview, Depp shared the emotions behind the creation of the self-portrait, stating that it was made during a “dark” and “confusing” time in his life, referring to his lengthy legal battle with Amber Heard. He explained that during this period, he started counting down the years and inscribed the word ‘five’, signifying the “fifth year of madness” he was entering. Depp acknowledged that painting a self-portrait can be uncomfortable, but he believes that all forms of artistic expression reflect aspects of oneself.
The portrait is based on an image from Dior’s ‘Sauvage’ ad campaign, a choice Depp made to honor the loyalty shown to him by the fashion brand. The artwork symbolizes the importance of truth and the unwavering support of loved ones during challenging times, according to the gallery displaying the piece.
Johnny Depp has previously showcased his artistic talent through the ‘Friends & Heroes’ art collection, which he sold in 2022, generating over $3.6 million. This collection featured portraits of people he admires, including Elizabeth Taylor, Heath Ledger, Hunter S. Thompson, Keith Richards, and Al Pacino. Depp has always used art as a means to express his feelings and pay tribute to those who matter most to him.
In June 2022, Depp won a defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, stemming from her 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she accused him of physical and emotional abuse. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The latter amount was later reduced to $365,000. The legal dispute finally came to an end when Heard’s insurance company paid Depp $1 million, settling the case.