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  • Stephen Wilkes


    Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work.

    His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of, leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and many others.

    Wilkes’ early career interpretations of Mainland China, California’s Highway One, and impressionistic “Burned Objects” set the tone for a series of career-defining projects that catapulted him to the top of the photographic landscape.

    In 1998, a one-day assignment to the south side of Ellis Island led to a 5-year photographic study of the island’s long abandoned medical wards where immigrants were detained before they could enter America. Through his photographs and video, Wilkes helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island. A monograph based on the work, Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom, was published in 2006 and was named one of TIME magazine’s 5 Best Photography Books of the Year. The work was also featured on NPR and CBS Sunday Morning.

    In 2000, Epson America commissioned Wilkes to create a millennial portrait of the United States, “America In Detail,” a 52-day odyssey that was exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

    Day to Night, Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was recently extended to include America’s National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary. The series will be published as a monograph in 2017.

    Wilkes’ work documenting the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy has brought heightened awareness to the realities of global climate change. He was commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography to revisit New Orleans in 2013 after documenting Hurricane Katrina for the World Monuments Fund. And, his images were exhibited with his photographs on Hurricane Sandy in the 2014 Sink or Swim, Designing for a Sea of Change exhibition.

    Despite his intense dedication to personal projects, Wilkes continues to shoot advertising campaigns for the world’s leading agencies and corporations, including: OppenheimerFunds, SAP, IBM, The New Yorker, Johnson & Johnson, DHL, American Express, Nike, Sony, Verizon, IBM, AT&T, Rolex, Honda, McCann Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, and McGarry Bowen.

    Wilkes is currently working on a documentary film about legendary photographer Jay Maisel’s historic Bank Building at 190 Bowery. And, in 2016, his photograph Day to Night, Wrigley Field, will be included in Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843- Present, an exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum curated by Gail Buckland.

    Wilkes’ extensive awards and honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year from Adweek Magazine, Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2004 Lucie Award, TIME Magazine Top 10 Photographs of 2012, Sony World Photography Professional Award 2012 and Prix Pictet, Consumption 2014. His board affiliations include the Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications; Save Ellis Island Board of Directors, on which he served for 5 years; and the Goldring Arts Journalism Board.

    Wilkes was born in 1957 in New York. He received his BS in photography from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in business management from the Whitman School of Management in 1980.

    Wilkes, who lives and maintains his studio in Westport, CT, is represented by Peter Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles; Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe; and Artitled Contemporary, The Netherlands.

    Acura, American Express, Arizona Jeans, AT&T, Beaver Creek, Cap Gemini, Cingular, Credit Suisse, Epson, FM Global, Hewlett Packard, Honda, IBM, Mastercard, New York Times Magazine, Nike, Pepsi, Pergo, Platinum Equity, Sony, Sports Illustrated, TMobile, USPS, Vanity Fair, Verizon, Visa

    • A beautiful end to a long day of traveling.  #tetons #idaho #summer #sunsets #roadtrippin #landscape #eclipse #iphoneonly
    • Another image from my recent BI trip.  I made this photograph by shooting through a plastic curtain, which gave this photograph a painterly quality. The color and grain reminded me of an early color photographic process called autochrome.  #blockisland #impressionism #autochrome #seaside #rowing #landscape #iphoneonly
    • As I begin to get ready to start my next adventure, I thought I share some special moments from my recent holiday on Block Island . #rhodeisland #blockisland #oceanview #windowview #summer17 #landscape #roomwithaview #hopper #iphoneonly
    • Whenever I'm doing a #daytonight , inevitably I'll see a special moment going on just outside my frame. Here's one from yesterday's shoot at Jennings Beach. #lovelooking #kids  #beach #iphoneonly #fairfield #jenningsbeach
    • After a summer of traveling to locations around the world for my Day to Night series, it feels really good to be home! Today I'm photographing a Day to Night only 20 minutes from my studio, on lovely Jennings beach in Fairfield, CT. 
This Image is being created for the Fairfield Museum, and it will become part of their permanent collection.  That's me climbing up our scaffolding in the moonlight, this will be our home for the next 24hrs. Excited to capture the stunning beauty of the Long Island Sound! Photo by @aerlebacher @fairfieldmuseumhistorycenter #DayToNight #Fairfield #ct #summer #beach #beauty #iphoneonly #moonlight #photography #jenningsbeach
    • I am excited to share my latest @natgeo Instagram Story, on my journey to beautiful Lake Bogoria National Reserve in Kenya, Africa. Lake Bogoria is a unique and beautiful place, the lake is saline and alkaline and lies within one of the most active geothermal areas in all of Africa.  It attracts a huge population of Flamingos as they migrate here each year and feast on the algae with in the lake. I was lucky enough to see a spectacular number of flamingos during my recent assignment in Lake Bogoria for @NatGeo. The flamingos are such beautiful species, and the unique topographic setting of the lake creates pure magic. I worked from a bird blind to observe these birds as I created a new “Day To Night". To see some of the behind the scenes clips please follow me @stephenwilkes.  #Kenya #Africa #lakebogoria #flamingos #birds #daytonight #beauty #nature #migration #inspiring
    • A local group of school children explore one of the magical areas of Lake Bogoria, Nairobi Kenya. These kids are surrounded by tiny geo thermal hot springs. This particular area is called the Loburu hot springs and it's one of the most active geyser areas in All of Africa. I'm here starting to scout for my  upcoming Day To Night .  Stay tuned as there's so much to share from this extraordinary part of our world. #natgeo #daytonight #africa #flamingos #nairobi #lakebogoria #iphoneonly
    • Please see my latest Instagram Story on my adventure to Bass Rock, Scotland.  You will see a behind the scenes look at one of the most challenging locations I’ve photographed in.  We spent 36 hours, photographing for my latest “Day to Night”, at the world's largest colony of Northern gannets at Bass Rock, off Eastern Scotland. Described famously by naturalists as "one of the wildlife wonders of the world”. #bassrock #scotland #gannet #migration #daytonight #amazing #inspiring #beauty #nature
    • Super EXCITED to share this incredible poster I had the honor of working on for @netflix Stranger Things Season 2. Special thanks to the amazing team at Netflix for giving me this fantastic opportunity.  #strangerthings2 @strangerthingstv #netflix #season2 #welcometohawkins  @jwilkes27 @d_eye @we_luv_la
    • On location in Bass Rock photographing bird migration for @natgeo . Here's a view of St Baldred's Chapel which sits high on top of the island, inhabited by hundreds of thousands of Gannets.
This iconic structure will be apart of my upcoming #DayToNight #scotland #gannet #bassrock #seabirdcenter #migrations #iphoneonly
    • I have spent a few days on a challenging and incredible assignment for @natgeo observing the gannets on Bass Rock . They swoop and dive most of the day but at sunset take some time to rest . Bass Rock is home to the single largest  Gannet colony in the world and it was one of the most inspiring places I have ever traveled to . #bassrock#Scotland#Gannets#birds#birdmigration
    • Here's a peek of what our backyard looked like on Bass Rock for the last 36hrs! Definitely a hard hat area! We've spent the last 2 days cleaning every case, camera & lens including ourselves:) Standing on fragmented volcanic rock made for quite a challenging shoot as well. We will be sharing more behind scenes in the coming days from this wild experience.  #hitchcockwouldbejealous #birdwatching #hitchcock #scotland #northberwick #birds #birdmigration #natgeo #daytonight #gannet photo #iphoneonly by @lennychristopher
    • Reflecting on a beautiful 4th of July as I'm embarking on my next adventure! Stayed tuned.  #4thofJuly #summer ##light #beach #USA #iphoneonly
    • Happy 4th of July Everyone! #america #USA #GodBlessAmerica #happy4th #nyc #iphoneonly
    • Happy 150th Birthday Canada! As Prime Minister Trudeau said so well, "Canadians never let a little rain bother them"! He's so right:) having a blast celebrating this remarkable day here in #Ottawa #nationalgalleryofcanada #reflection #weather #canada #canada150 #celebration #norain #feelinglucky #trudeau #iphoneonly
    • Gorgeous day today in NYC .  The summer light is here . #summer #nyc #streetphotography #light #iphoneonly
    • On assignment in San Pedro Los Angeles. Loved the early morning fog on the Vincent Thomas Bridge. #vincentthomasbridge #bridges #fog #onassigment #ca #la #iphoneonly
    • Leaving NYC... I caught this stunning view of the Kennedy wetlands area, part of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.  It's one of the largest urban bird sanctuaries in the eastern United States, a 9,000-acre stretch of small islands, salt marshes, fields and forest. #onassigment #aerial #wetlands #landscape #iphoneonly
    • Happy Fathers Day... this photograph captures one of my proudest moments...having my dad at one of my exhibitions. I lost my Dad, David Wilkes exactly one year ago today on Father's Day, he was 93.  A remarkable man, he inspired our whole family throughout his life. A self made man, my father was defined by hard work , passion and empathy-- but his first priority was to always take care of his family. He was a true innovator in the flavor business a talented artist & painter in his own right. 
The next time you have a HaagenDazs Coffee ice cream or a Dr Browns Black Cherry Soda, or an sky blue otter pop... Think of my dad... He'll be smiling....
#fathersday #dad
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