FLORENCE – The vibrant, powerful art of renowned Alabama folk artist, Michael Banks, will be exhibiting at Wylde Gallery at 124 East Tennessee St. in Florence through April 30.

By abandoning traditions on many levels, Banks has succeeded in achieving a place in the wider world of American contemporary art. His presence has created excitement in the folk and contemporary art genre that has brought a significant increase in demand for his works by collectors.

Banks is deeply creative and expressive. Beginning in 1997, after a five-year break from painting to deal with the loss of his mother, Banks’ work showed a deeper expression of strength and understanding of the human soul.

His portraitures have a trademark of round heads, wide set eyes, and imagery that seems to speak of the masks we hide behind and the internal demons we fight.

Disparate imagery comes together on salvaged boards or canvas, using acrylic, enamel, turpentine and tar. Michael then scratches a myriad of details and symbols into his paintings adding depth and intrigue and leaving them open to interpretation.

Banks has been showcased at the nation’s top folk art shows and in many galleries around the country. He has won many honors for his work, and has been featured in Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens.