Dirk H. Wilms, born 1966, is a German photographer and visual artist best known for his occasionally controversial self-portraits that focuses on topics like mortality, sexuality, and identity, love, anxiety, and stigmatization.
He first came to public recognition with a two-decade-long body of work, his on-going photographic series A KIND OF ABSENCE that is concerned with his identity as a gay man living with HIV and AIDS. Influenced by personal life events and inner perceptions, Wilms 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 the progressing disease and hope,” he said. “I create unconventional self-portraits which have simplicity, but inside are complex personal stories. A sort of psychoanalytic therapy in some way.” He lives and works in the western part of Germany.