Johnny Depp raises around £3m through sale of debut art collection

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Johnny Depp has raised around £3 million in just a few hours through a sale of his artwork.

The Hollywood actor, 59, announced on Instagram that he was selling prints from his debut collection, Friends And Heroes, through Castle Fine Art, which operates 37 galleries around the country.

The works depict four people who have inspired him, Rolling Stone Keith Richards, actor Al Pacino, folk legend Bob Dylan and Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor, and feature what are described by the gallery as “characteristic freehand flourishes”.

All 780 pieces sold within hours on Thursday, with framed individual images going for £3,950 and the complete portfolio of four images selling for £14,950.

Depp’s post on Instagram, captioned only “NOW AT #CASTLEFINEART”, prompted a rush of traffic to the gallery’s website causing it to crash.

He 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.

“My paintings surround my life, but I kept them to myself and limited myself. No one should ever limit themselves.”

Depp’s Bob Dylan piece (Castle Fine Art/PA)
Depp’s Bob Dylan piece (Castle Fine Art/PA)

Speaking on behalf of fine art publishers Washington Green, Glyn Washington said: “Working with Johnny through the process of curating this collection and producing his limited edition artworks has been a singular joy and privilege.

“He is a true creative, with an extraordinary eye for detail and nuance. I look forward to introducing Johnny’s Friends And Heroes to our wide collector base through Castle Fine Art.”

In a press release, the gallery described Depp’s work as existing “at the intersection of pop art and street art” and as “pop art with feeling”.

The gallery had long been in talks with Depp about staging an exhibition and sale of his work, and expects to host more of it in the future.

The Keith Richards work (Castle Fine Art/PA)
The Keith Richards work (Castle Fine Art/PA)

The sale comes after the conclusion of Depp’s high-profile court case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

A jury found a 2018 article Heard wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse to be defamatory and awarded 10.35 million dollars (£8.2 million) in damages to Depp.

Heard won on one count of her countersuit, successfully arguing that Depp’s press agent defamed her by claiming her allegations were “an abuse hoax” aimed at capitalising on the #MeToo movement.

The jury awarded her two million dollars (£1.5 million) in damages.

Johnny Depp’s Elizabeth Taylor print (Castle Fine Art/PA)
Johnny Depp’s Elizabeth Taylor print (Castle Fine Art/PA)

As deliberations took place, Depp appeared on stage with veteran rock guitarist Jeff Beck, 78, during his UK tour.

The pair also recently released a collaborative album, titled 18, which broke into the top 40 in the UK.

Earlier this month, Depp sold a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), called Never Fear Truth, which also depicted his close friends and heroes, raising nearly 800,000 dollars (£660,000) for charity.

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