Golden Boy Johnny Depp Just Made Millions as an Art Sensation

Johnny Depp has hauled in $3.6 million with his debut collection as the latest darling of the fickle and hard-to-swindle art world
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To the victor go the spoiled.

Defamation trial winner Johnny Depp already scored a series of concerts and a new album with guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck after defeating ex-wife Amber Heard in court, and his post-trial extravaganza just got even sweeter: the actor is now the art world’s latest, oldest bad boy visual artist, having cleared $3.6 million for his artwork at his sellout debut collection, according to People.

Of course, one might be tempted to think that’s mere running-around money for the 59-year-old Depp, but it’s clean, honest legal tender, and who knows what he may still owe his legal teams after so many courthouse rumbles in recent years.

Depp’s “Friends and Heroes” collection consists of four portraits: Bob Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor, Al Pacino and Keith Richards. The portraits, which resemble a dark, slightly reductive Warhol style that admirably adheres to the strictures of formal composition techniques, were sold both individually and as a set of four.

Depp’s inspiration, according to his gallery, Castle Fine Art, came from “people [Depp] has known well, and who have inspired him as a person.”

The gallery further says of Depp’s vision, “Each image is an intimate reflection of their character in Johnny’s eyes; a portrayal of how they have revealed themselves to him. From his dear friend Keith Richards, who inspired the mannerisms of the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, to Bob Dylan, whose creative influence on the artist is seen in his vivid and immortal portrayal by Johnny.”

Limited-edition portraits are listed online (though sold out) at $3,973, with a set of four going for a bargain $15,040.

“This world-first release proved to be our fastest-selling collection to date, selling out in just hours,” Castle Fine Art said.

“I’ve always used art to express my feelings, and to reflect on those who matter most to me, like my family, friends and people I admire,” Depp said in a statement shared by the gallery. “My paintings surround my life, but I kept them to myself and limited myself. No one should ever limit themselves.”

Certainly not.

Things aren’t going nearly so well for Amber Heard. Earlier this month, a judge denied her motion to declare the defamation suit a mistrial, so the verdict—and the $10.35 million in damages she owes Depp—still stands. A week later, on July 21, Heard and her lawyers officially filed an appeal with the Virginia Court of Appeals. Depp filed his own appeal the next day to overturn the $2 million defamation verdict that Heard won in her countersuit.

We can hardly imagine what’s next, Johnny.


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