Stephen Wilkes (American, b. 1957)
For more than two decades, Wilkes has been widely recognized for his fine art and commercial photography. His work can be found gracing the covers of top magazines such as Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Time, Life Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. In 1999, Wilkes completed a personal project, photographing the south side of Ellis Island: the ruined landscape of the infectious disease and psychiatric hospital wings, where children and adults alike were detained before they could enter America. Through his photographs and video work, Wilkes has inspired and helped secure $6 million in funding towards the restoration for the south side of the island. Wilkes’ photographs of Bethlehem Steel, the dismantled steel factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and his latest works on China were also exhibited at the David Gallery in Los Angeles, ClampArt Gallery New York, and at the Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe. In November of 2006, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. published Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom, a book of the photographs Wilkes captured on the island for a final tribute to the south side. Wilkes continues to be involved with his passion for Ellis Island. Wilkes was featured on Weekend Edition with Scott Simon of NPR, CBS Sunday Morning with Martha Teichner. The book received high critical acclaim including Time Magazine’s 5 Best Photography Books of The Year, 2006.
Wilkes’ newest body of work, entitled Day to Night, captures epic cityscapes with fleeting moments throughout the day and night. Wilkes photographs from one camera angle continuously for up to 15 hours. A select group of images are then electronically blended into one photograph. Wilkes’ photographs can be found on permanent collection at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, Library of Congress, Dow Jones Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Jewish Museum, New York, James A Michener Art Museum, and The Historic New Orleans Collection.