“There is a darkness deep within me, much more than a simple absence of light. You can find that in my photographs, but, if you look closely, you'll find love and humor in all my work.”
Dirk H. Wilms is a German photographer and visual artist known for his occasionally controversial self-portraits that focuses on topics like mortality, sexuality, and identity, love, anxiety, and stigmatization.
He achieved worldwide recognition with a two-decade-long body of work, his photographic series A KIND OF ABSENCE that is concerned with his identity as a gay man living with HIV and AIDS. First exhibited 2015 in a one-person show in Weimar, the auto-biographical photographs gained the attention of both the public and the media. In the years following their debut they continue to be reviewed, and collected, and to provoke frequently controversy and discussion.
Influenced by personal life events and inner perceptions, Wilms (born 1966) uses conceptual staged self-portraits to reveal and reflect the things that occupy his inner world. “My work is a never ending search for identity and meaning. It has transformed into a way for me to find a balance in the midst of a downward spiral of a progressing disease and hope,” he said. “I create unconventional portraits which have simplicity, but inside are complex stories, revealed deliberately with a raw openness. A sort of psychoanalytic therapy in some way.”
His photographs have been featured in numerous art, culture and gay magazines and can be found in a variety of private collections.
Dirk lives and works in the western part of Germany with his husband Martin and their beloved dog Kolja.
SELECTED INTERVIEWS & TEXTS
SELECTED PRESS & PUBLICATIONS
MASCULAR MAGAZINE (UK), ZINE MAGAZINE (JAPAN),
MÄNNER MAGAZINE (GERMANY), MEIN SCHWULES AUGE (GERMANY),
NOISY RAIN (JAPAN), HOMOSURREALISM (UK), SALVE TV (GERMANY),
OTZ JOURNAL (GERMANY), THÜRINGISCHE LANDESZEITUNG (GERMANY),
QUEER (GERMANY), GAY CH MAGAZINE (SWITZERLAND), ARTCURE (GREECE),
BLITZ MAGAZINE (GERMANY), CHUECA MAGAZINE (SPAIN),
HIV PLUS MAGAZINE (USA), MEN ADDICTED (FRANCE),
GENTE RARA (VENEZUELA), LAZAGNE ART MAGAZINE (ITALY),
SRDREGE MEN (TURKEY), ET ALORS? (NETHERLANDS),
TRIBE MAGAZINE (UK), M+ MAGAZINE (GERMANY), KALTBLUT (GERMANY),
THE UNTOLD (UK), SLAVE MAGAZINE (UK), ULISEX! MAGAZINE (MEXICO),
EDGE MAGAZINE (USA), GET INSPIRED (GERMANY)
ESCAPING THE FACE (2017)
A KIND OF ABSENCE (2015)
HOME BY THE SEA (2009)