Paul Cordes Wilm’s new exhibit, “Masks & Faces ” uses the above quote from the renowned Oscar Wilde as a thematic diving board, playfully toying with themes of identity and facial recognition. This colorful show is literally all about the masks we wear as faces and the faces we wear as masks.
Wilm is a Southern painter and film maker, born and raised in Alabama. He currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama.
Equally influenced by Andy Warhol and (Alabama folk artist) Mose Tolliver, the bright colors (a good-natured nod to the artist’s red/green colorblindness), satirical juxtapositions and sharp sense of humor all make his “Folk-Pop” artwork nearly iconic in the Magic City.
Walk into any number of Birmingham businesses and Wilm’s whimsical characters are waiting to greet you as they are at Rojo and the music venue, Saturn. Wilm also has many colorful murals hiding around the city. In 2015, he painted a life-size Vulcan statue (part of the “Vulcans On Parade” project) entitled “Forging Ahead” which now permanently resides in front of the BJCC Arena.
Paul is an adamant recycler, and as a result, all of his work is created using 90-100% recycled materials, from found wood to used house paint to recycled computer ink to junk mail. When he sells pieces, he lets people know these facts, hoping that they might realize that so many items we blindly throw into the garbage can actually be reused in another way.