Lars Endel Roger Vilks (born 20 June 1946) is a Swedish artist. He is best known for his drawings of Muhammed, prophet of Islam.
Vilks was born in Helsingborg, Sweden. His father is from Latvia and his mother is Swedish. He earned a Ph.D. in art history from Lund University in 1987, and worked at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts from 1988 to 1997. From 1997 to 2003, he was a professor in art theory at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. As an art theorist, Vilks is a proponent of the institutional theory of art.
Although an academically trained art theorist, Vilks is a self-taught artist. In the 1970s, he started painting, and in 1984, he embarked on creating the idiosyncratic sculptures that have been his hallmark, starting with Nimis. At this time, in the early 1980s, postmodernism made its definite entry into the Swedish art scene, using inspiration from e.g. the French art philosopher Jean-François Lyotard. Conceptual artists took the place of the earlier modernists on the contemporary art scene. These conceptual artists did not want their art to have any aesthetic or programmatic content, but instead often focused on the artist's self. Vilks was part of this movement in Sweden, and among other things turned himself in as a piece of art to the spring saloon at Vikingsberg in Helsingborg, and turned his own car into a piece of art at the fall exhibition at Skånes konstförening.