Swedish artist Johan Andersson found inspiration in Angelina Jolie’s recent admission that she’d had a preventative double mastectomy after finding out she carries a gene that makes breast cancer highly likely.
Andersson created what is now a highly-controversial portrait of Jolie which depicts her topless after the surgery. He says that having something in common with the actress/ambassador led him to the oil painting.
“My mother had aggressive breast cancer when I was 15, the thought of her having to have a mastectomy really scared me and she was fortunate enough to have surgery without the mastectomy. The recent news about Angelina stirred an anxiety within me leading me to paint this portrait, There is an underlying awkwardness in her demeanour in juxtaposition to the natural beauty of her face.”
Jolie announced earlier this month that she’d secretly undergone the operation after watching her mother suffer through breast cancer, to which she ultimately succumbed.
“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie wrote in a New York Times piece.. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was. They have asked if the same could happen to me.”
Andersson’s painting is expected to fetch over $20,000 at auction and proceeds will go to the Falling Whistles campaign, a charity Jolie supports for peace in the Congo.