Johnny Depp’s £4.5 million daubs: how Pirates of the Caribbean actor, 59, made a fortune in just a few days by selling his limited edition prints of late stars – including Bob Marley and Heath Ledger – for £ 4,500 a pop
His next artistic venture will be to direct a film about the life of penniless Italian painter and sculptor Modigliani.
But yesterday revealed that Johnny Depp’s own career as an artist is proving much more lucrative – having sold more than £4.5 million worth of paintings in just a few days last week.
A series of limited edition prints of reggae star Bob Marley, writer Hunter S Thompson and actors Heath Ledger and River Phoenix went on sale last Monday through the Castle Fine Art Gallery in London’s Covent Garden.
Yesterday, a spokesperson said the bold and brightly colored prints, which cost £4,500 each, or £17,500 for all four, were nearly sold out in five days. “By Friday they were pretty much all gone, only a handful of prints left from the Phoenix River,” he said. ‘I expect that they will also be sold out by now.’
It is the second exhibition in Depp’s ‘Friends and Heroes’ collection to go on sale in the UK. The first, featuring folk legend Bob Dylan, Rolling Stone Keith Richards, actress Elizabeth Taylor and actor Al Pacino, also sold out in hours last July.
Artist: Johnny Depp at work with his paint
Success: The Pirates of the Caribbean star signs one of his works
Iconic: The late, great Hunter S. Thompson, as portrayed by Johnny Depp. The Hollywood star played the famous gonzo journalist in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
It means Depp has made more than £8 million from his art in the last seven months alone. Yesterday, the 59-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star told the Mail he was “really touched” that people were interested in work he did “beyond his day job.”
He said he spent more time in Europe and the UK, and was “loved” in London, which he described as a “very creative environment.”
“For many years I really stuck to the day-to-day work of the film business, even though I’ve always had to escape to a blank sheet of paper, whether it was writing, drawing or painting on a blank canvas,” he said. said. ‘Taking on something for the first time without any idea of what will start and what it will become, is very satisfying.
“It’s really moving that people are now seeing this stuff for the first time and reacting so positively to what I’ve made.”
It’s not the only time Depp has pursued other creative expressions. In fact, he has said before that music is his first love. He performed with his own band and with his friend, guitar legend Jeff Beck, who passed away in January. Last July they released a record together called 18.
Depp described the subjects of his paintings as “legends,” with Phoenix and Ledger making their mark despite not having “enough time on this earth.” The sale comes after Depp’s high-profile US lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard last year.
One love: Reggae icon Bob Marley is another star painted by Depp
Flawed genius: The late Heath Ledger also serves as the inspiration for another of Depp’s impressive portraits
A jury found an article she wrote about her experiences as a domestic violence survivor libelous and awarded Depp £12 million in damages.
Ms Heard later won one of three counterclaims, successfully claiming that Depp’s press agent defamed her and she was awarded £1.5 million in damages.
It followed Depp’s UK libel suit against the Sun newspaper in November 2020, which he lost, due to an article calling him a ‘woman beater’. The judge said the paper proved what was written was “substantially true.”