Stephen Wilkes

12.12.2011 in14:22 in City scape, architecture -->


Stephen Wilkes has been highly recognized for his fine arts photography with three major exhibitions in the last four years. Margaret Loke of the New York Times writes, “Each of the rooms that he photographs with care seems to have its own luxurious color scheme. Mr. Wilkes sees pleasing palettes of impressionism in walls and ceilings of peeling paint.”

In 2000 Wilkes was commissioned by Epson America to create a millennial portrait of the United States. Over 52 days, Wilkes and his team crisscrossed the country, covering more than 20,000 miles, looking for the photographic details- the people, places and things that capture the variety, mood and texture of America as the new century began. The work was exhibited in four cities, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco to critical acclaim. Wilkes was recently awarded the Epson Creativity Award for the PDN Photo Annual. He was also recognized as the 2004 Fine Art Photographer of the Year at the Lucie Awards. Wilkes has been recognized by the photographic and design industry with additional awards including the Alfred Eisenstadt Awards for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year, Eastcoast, Adweek Magazine, honors in Graphis Magazine, and the award of excellence in Communication Arts. Wilkes was also featured in Communication Arts in March of 2001.

In 1999 Wilkes completed a personal project photographing the south side of Ellis Island. With his photographs and video work, Wilkes was able to help secure $6 million in funding to restore the south side of the island. The work was exhibited in April of 2001 in a one person exhibition at The Soho Triad Fine Arts Gallery, in New York. His exhibition on the exploration of the nude form in the jungles and on the lava flows of Hawaii ran in December of 2002. The collection of photographs of Ellis Island traveled to Los Angeles and was exhibited at Apex Fine Arts in January of 2003. In October of 2004 an exhibition of works from Bethlehem Steel opened at the Apex Gallery in Los Angeles and the Ellis Island work traveled to The Monroe gallery in Santa Fe in October of 2004. His work is also on permanent collection at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House.

Wilkes continues to be involved with his passion for Ellis Island. He is working with the “Save Ellis Island” foundation and his work will be part of a permanent exhibition at Ellis Island. In the fall of 2006 WW Norton will publish the images of Ellis Island as a fine art book. He has worked in collaboration with Riverkeeper photographing Newtown Creek where in 1950 a leaking underground oil tank resulted in one of the worst oil spills in the nation. Stephen also serves on the advisory board of The New House School of Communication.

Wilkes shoots advertising and fashion campaigns for many of the country’s leading advertising agencies and companies, including Arizona Jeans, California Tourism, New York Stock Exchange American Express, ABB, Honda, Epson, Nike, Sony, AT&T, Visa, Compaq, Texaco, IBM, ITT Sheraton, J. Walter Thompson, McCann Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Rubin Postaer. His editorial work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.

Photography has been Wilkes’ passion since age 12, when his fascination with science led him to take photographs through a microscope. He began working on his own at age 15 and attended Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications, graduating in 1980. In 1983, Wilkes opened his studio in Manhattan.