John Wilde was a painter, draughtsman and printmaker of fantastic imagery. Born near Milwaukee, Wilde lived most of his life in Wisconsin, save for service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received bachelor and master degrees in art from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he taught for some 35 years. Wilde was associated with the Magic Realism movement and Surrealism in the United States. His darkly humorous figurative imagery often included self-portraits through which he interacted with the people, animals and surreal objects that populate his fantasy world.