For more than two decades Stephen Wilkes has been widely recognized for his fine art and commercial photography. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums, and featured in a number of leading magazines and periodicals including the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair and Time, among many others.
In 1999 Wilkes completed a personal project photographing the unrestored areas 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 toward the restoration for the south side of the island. The monograph, Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom was published in 2006. Wilkes was featured on NPR, CBS Sunday Morning and the book was named one of Time Magazine’s 5 Best Photography Books of The Year.
In 2000, Epson America commissioned Wilkes to create a millennial portrait of the United States, a 52-day odyssey that was exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Wilkes newest body of work is titled Day to Night. The work embodies epic cityscapes with fleeting moments throughout the day to the night. Wilkes photographs from one camera angle continuously for approximately 15 hours. A select group of images are then electronically blended into one photograph. The work has inspired huge positive response by the public and press. Each photograph takes months to develop and a plan for more images is in the works.
Wilkes also shoots advertising campaigns for many of the world’s leading agencies and corporations, including, SAP, IBM, PepsiCo, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, American Express, Nike, Sony, Verizon, IBM, AT&T, Rolex, Honda, J.W.T., EuroRSCG, McCann Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Rubin Postaer among others.
Educated at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Wilkes’ 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, and the Epson Creativity Award. Wilkes board affiliations include the Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and the Save Ellis Island Board of Directors. Wilkes’ work is in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jewish Museum of New York, Library of Congress and numerous private collections. Wilkes is represented by Peter Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles, Clampart Galley in New York, and The Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe, NM.