Johnny Depp makes £3m in hours through sales of his art

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Undated handout photo issued by Castle Fine Art of Johnny Depp signing one of his prinImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Johnny Depp said he "surrounds himself with art" but had kept his paintings to himself

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has made about £3m in just a few hours through a sale of his debut art collection.

Depp sold 780 prints through Castle Fine Art's 37 galleries, including in London's Covent Garden, within hours of announcing the sale on Instagram.

The Friends And Heroes collection depicts people who have inspired him, including Rolling Stone Keith Richards and Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor.

"I've always used art to express my feelings," the 59-year-old said.

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

The actor said he used his art, which also depicted actor Al Pacino and folk legend Bob Dylan, to "reflect on those who matter most to me, like my family, friends and people I admire".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The Hollywood actor sold paintings of "inspiring" figures including (l-r) Keith Richards, Elizabeth Taylor and Bob Dylan

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.

'Pop art with feeling'

In a press release, the gallery described the actor'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 Mr Depp about staging an exhibition and sale of his work, and expects to host more of it in the future.

The sale comes after the conclusion of Mr Depp's high-profile US court case against his ex-wife Amber Heard last month.

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 $15m (£12m) in compensatory and punitive damages to Depp.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp were in court in Virginia during the televised six-week trial this year

Heard won one of three counter-claims, successfully arguing Depp's press agent defamed her, with the jury awarding her £1.5m ($2m) in damages.

The case followed his UK libel case against the Sun newspaper in November 2020, which he lost, over an article that called him a "wife beater". The judge said the paper had proved what was in the article to be "substantially true".

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

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