Charlie Sheen portrait 'capturing essence of addiction' goes up for auction

Lincoln Townley's Russell Brand portrait sold for $20,000 in December

Matilda Battersby@matildbattersby
Thursday 29 January 2015 16:58
Charlie Sheen by Lincoln Townley
Charlie Sheen by Lincoln Townley

Charlie Sheen says this is the true face of addiction.

The startling portrait of the American actor, 49, whose alcohol and drug abuse resulted in him being fired from primtime comedy drama Two and a Half Men in 2011, is by the artist Lincoln Townley - who is also in recovery.

Last month Townley sold a painting of Russell Brand for $20,000 in aid of the Abstinence-Based Recovery Trust of which they’re both patrons and the Sheen portrait will also be sold with proceeds going to the charity.

Townley and Russell Brand

Sheen, 49, commissioned the work and seems overwhelmed by what has been produced. He told The Independent: “He has captured the essence of what it is to live with addiction and he is able to do this because he has his own story of addiction and recovery.”

He hopes the proceeds from the sale “will support others in their struggle with alcoholism and substance abuse” and is flying the artist Townley out to LA so he can sign the work before it goes on sale.

Sheen, who at the height of his addiction hit headlines with bizarre YouTube rants in which he claimed to be a “warlock” and said the word “winning” repeatedly, is now believed to be in talks to return for the final episode of Two and a Half Men.

Townley, 42, who is married to the actress and former Loose Women presenter Denise Welch, suffered from drug and alcohol addiction when he ran a Soho strip club in the late Naughties. He wrote about his experiences in an autobiography, The Hunger, which he claims “was so honest it was a kind of therapy” and helped him get clean.

During his Soho stripclub days Townley produced more than 170 paintings all based on the nightclub scene and what he describes as the “hunger, the consumer urge that overtakes men in a club full of naked girls and alcohol”.

He has been sober for nearly four years and is doing a series of portraits of fellow addicts including Mickey Rourke and Gary Oldman – both of whom specifically requested that he paint them.

“An addict is always an addict. You’re just a sober addict if you’re not on drugs,” he said.

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