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Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes

Stephen Wilkes

Country: United States
Birth: 1957

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, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, 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 a 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 extended to include America's National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary and Bird Migration for the 2018 Year of the Bird. Most recently a new grant was extended for Canadian Iconic Species and Habitats at Risk in collaboration with The Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Day to Night : In the Field with Stephen Wilkes was exhibited at The National Geographic Museum in 2018. Day to Night was published by TASCHEN as a monograph in 2019.

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.

Wilkes directorial debut, the documentary film, Jay Myself , world premiered at DOCNYC in November 2018. The film is an in depth look into the world of photographer Jay Maisel and his move out of his 35,000 sq. foot building at 190 Bowery. Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the North American rights and the film opened at Film Forum in New York in July, 2019

Wilkes was a speaker at the TED2016: Dream Conference on his Day to Night series. The talk has over 1.6 million views. In 2017 Wilkes was commissioned by the US Embassy, Ottawa to create a Day to Night photograph of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Despite his intense dedication to personal projects, Wilkes continues to shoot advertising campaigns for the world's leading agencies and corporations, including: Netflix, OppenheimerFunds, SAP, IBM, Capital One, The New Yorker, Johnson & Johnson, DHL, American Express, Nike, Sony, Verizon, IBM, AT&T, Rolex, Honda. He has a robust following on Instagram of more than 500,000.

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, Adobe Breakthrough Photography 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.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 Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles; Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe and Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach..
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Francis Haar
Hungary
1908 | † 1997
Francis Haar born as Haár Ferenc was a Hungarian socio-photographer. He studied interior architecture at Hungarian Royal National School of Arts and Crafts between 1924 and 1927. His master was Gyula Kaesz.He started working as an interior architect and poster designer in 1928, and taught himself photography. In 1930 he became acquainted with Munka-kör (Work Circle) led by socialist avant-garde poet and visual artist Lajos Kassák, who just returned from Vienna. Kassák pointed out that the photography is more than the painting and can access to such part of reality that cannot be accessed by painters. Kassák's motto was photography is the real child of our age not the painting. That was a life long inspiration to Francis. He became an active and leading member of the Munka Kör, his partners in socio-photography were among others Sándor Gönci, Árpád Szélpál and Lajos Lengyel, who later became renowned graphic artist and book designer. The first socio photo exhibition ever in Hungary was held in 1932, which brought the first success to Francis. His first photo studio was opened in Budapest in 1934. Some of his photos were exhibited at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in 1937, so Francis Haar decided to move to Paris where he established himself as a portrait photographer. However in 1939 he was invited by Hiroshi Kawazoe to Japan and the International Cultural Society of Japan (Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai) officially arranged his trip. With help of Japanese friends he opened and operated his photo studio in Tokyo between 1940 and 42. The Haar family was evacuated to Karuizawa in 1943 and they spent 3 years there. He became the photographer of Yank, the Army Weekly magazine of the U.S. occupation forces in Japan, and subsequently filmmaker with U.S. Public Health and Welfare Section (1946-48). Again his Tokyo photo studio was opened in 1946 and was in active business until 1956. His wife Irene opened the famous restaurant Irene's Hungaria in Ginza, downtown Tokyo, which was frequented by celebrities, intellectuals, army men and sports people from all over the world besides the Japanese. Accepting a challenge he moved and worked as photographer for the Container Corporation of America, Chicago from 1956 until 1959. He returned to Tokyo and operated his photo studio again for a year. 1960 brought a great decision and the Haars moved to Hawai'i and Francis started his photo studio there. He taught photography at the University of Hawai'i between 1965 and 1985. He became the production photographer for the Kennedy Theater, the University of Hawai'i Drama Department. Francis Haar died at the age of 89 in Honolulu.Source: Wikipedia
Laura Pannack
United Kingdom
1985
Laura Pannack is a London-based, award-winning photographer. Renowned for her recognizable portraiture and social documentary artwork, she often seeks to explore the complex relationship between subject and photographer. Her work heavily focuses on the youth. She was educated at the University of Brighton, Central Saint Martins College of Art and LCP. Pannack's work has been extensively exhibited throughout the UK and abroad, including at The National Portrait Gallery, Somerset House, the Royal Festival Hall and the Houses of Parliament. Driven by research-led, self-initiated projects, Pannack seeks to fully understand the lives of those she captures on film in order to portray them as truthfully as possible. Perceiving “time, trust and understanding” to be the key elements to achieving this, many of her projects develop over several years, helping her achieve a genuine connection between herself and her sitter and allowing her to capture the intimacy, shared ideas and shared experiences of this relationship. Pannack chooses to shoot with analogue film on her personal projects. By using traditional methods of working from negatives, as well as shooting with Polaroid, she finds beauty in the mistakes that come from working with unpredictable material. Her artwork has received much acclaim and won numerous awards, among which are the John Kobal Award , Vic Odden prize,World Photo Press Awards and the HSBC Prix de la Photographie prize In addition to her own practice, Pannack lectures, critiques and teaches at universities, workshops and festivals around the world, and in 2015, judged the portrait category in World Photo Press Awards in Amsterdam. Pannack has also been widely published, both commercially and as a photographic artist, with work appearing in The British Journal of Photography, Hotshoe International, TIME, The Guardian Weekend, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, Creative Review. Her monograph 'Against the dying of the light' was published by Acts de Suds in 2016 and YOUTH Vol 1 was released in 2018 by Polite company
Dominique Isserman
Dominique Issermann (born April 11, 1947) is a French photographer. She works primarily with black and white photography, and is known for her works in portraits, fashion and advertising. She has shot campaigns for Sonia Rykiel, Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Guess, Lancôme, La Perla, Tiffany, Chanel and many others. Her work has also been featured in the fashion supplements for The New York Times, Corriere Della Sera and Le Monde. Issermann is noted for having photographed Leonard Cohen over several decades. The two had a long relationship, and Cohen dedicated his album I'm Your Man to her.Source: Wikipedia Cinema has played a major role in the life and career of Paris-based photographer Dominique Issermann. This year’s recipient of the Lucie Award for Achievement in Fashion was majoring in literature at the Sorbonne when she moved to Rome with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a student leader of the May 1968 protests in Paris, and French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard to work on films. In the Italian capital, she co-directed the avant-garde films Tamaout and Elettra with Marc’O. Upon Issermann’s return to Paris in 1973, she produced a series of photo essays for Zoom magazine on the movie sets of Federico Fellini’s Casanova and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Novecento. In these formative years, she photographed up-and-coming and now-legendary actors, including Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani. In 1979, designer Sonia Rykiel hired Issermann to collaborate with her on advertising campaigns for her fashion line, which put her front and center in the world of mode. Fashion editorials for periodicals from American Vogue to Elle soon followed. Her work continues to flow seamlessly between fashion, portraiture and advertising campaigns for major brands from Chanel, Christian Dior, Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent to GUESS, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Co., and Hermès. In addition to shooting or directing commercials and shorts for some of these fashion and beauty houses, Issermann has created music videos with her signature free-flowing, yet immaculately framed shots.Source: Digital Photo Pro Along the way she also applies her distinctive style onto moving images for which she still has a prominent taste, directing several music videos for Leonard Cohen, notably Dance me & Manhattan – and shooting TV commercials for many of her clients, including the memorable Eau Sauvage and Dune for Christian Dior and the Victoria’s Secret legendary commercial featuring Bob Dylan. Her recent music collaborations also include work with Nick Cave. Dominique Issermann has published several books – one of which Laetitia Casta achieves considerable success – and exhibits her work around the world with major retrospectives at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie at Arles and at the Paris Maison Européenne de la Photographie, and recently at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport where 80 of her most famous pictures were exhibited on 400 digital advertising panels throughout all terminals. Her unique style has been praised by many, Dominique Issermann invents, in the black studio, a white light that seems to glow from under the skin of the characters and that the schools of photography teach under the name of Light Issermann. Amongst the many accolades she has received for her work, Dominique Issermann is the first woman to receive the equivalent of an Oscar for her fashion photography at the 1987 French Fashion Awards. In January 2007, she was promoted to the rank of Officer of France’s Order of Arts and Letter and in March 2012, she was named to the National Order of Merit.Source: The Lucie Awards
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Born in Poland in 1981, Justyna Neryng spent much of her childhood playing with her father’s cameras and dark room while roaming the forests of Chelmsko on the Czech boarder. As an adult, a mother and an immigrant to Britain, her photography has flourished into a substantial body of portraiture. Perhaps the most evocative of her works are her exquisitely emotive self-portraits that seem to carry the dark spirit of the forest from her childhood as well as potently baring the scares of modern womanhood. They show vulnerability and intimate eroticism as well as a deep sense of isolation and alienation. It is these portraits that have been most published and exhibited in both in her polish homeland and in the UK. More recently Justyna has begun to collaborate with her daughter Nell, on a project called Childhood Lost. Justyna currently produces her works in her adopted home town of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her daughter. Artist Statement: Childhood Lost is an autobiographical ,self portrait in a different body, ongoing project exploring the nature of portraiture and memory. As a single mother I have found myself exploring notions and representations of childhood. I see my daughter’s experiences of growing up in urban England conflicting with my own experiences of growing up in rural Poland.I must confess that my own childhood is not a source of many happy memories, perhaps the most resonant of which are the times I escaped to a world of fantasy played out in the forests surrounding my home village of Chelmsko. Watching my daughter grow up has in a sense held a mirror to my own memories of the past while experiencing her childhood dreams enacted through play, and story telling. I find myself in a strange place where I can experience my own memories as well as see my daughter’s childhood through my adult eyes. It is these notions I am seeking to explore with the Childhood Lost project. Interweaving childhood nostalgia with the stories and myths of my Polish childhood and those that I share with my essentially British daughter. The project is using these ideas to produce a series of portraits that evoke characters that populate this world we know as childhood. A court of characters from myth and dreams. The images are aesthetically inspired by portraiture from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. By drawing on paintings as inspiration I am hoping to give a timeless feel to the final images. Also key to the project is also the painstaking styling and prop building, which I am using to evoke these different persona played out by my daughter. I want to develop the series in to a substantial set of portraits of my daughter playing the characters of childhood, as well as producing more elaborate set pieces embracing a theatricality that would take the project to the next level. Subject to funding it would also be a dream of mine to be able to revisit the forests of my own childhood and produce work there. Justyna Neryng is a multi-award winning self-taught photographer born in Poland and now living and working in the United Kingdom. She spent much of her childhood playing with her father’s cameras and dark room while roaming the forests of her hometown. She specialises in portraits and nudes, her photography has flourished into a substantial body of portraiture. She is mainly known for her enchanting theatrical portraits of her daughter, a gallery of triumphal characters, captured on a neutral and undefined background, with their fantastic ‘uniforms’ and imperious look . These images are aesthetically inspired by portraiture from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. And her exquisitely emotive self-portraits that seem to carry the dark spirit of the forest from her childhood as well as potently baring the scars of modern womanhood. They show vulnerability and intimate eroticism as well as deep sense of isolation and alienation.Source: justynaneryng.com
R.J. Kern
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Paolo Roversi is an Italian-born fashion photographer who lives and works in Paris. Born in Ravenna in 1947, Paolo Roversi’s interest in photography was kindled as a teenager during a family vacation in Spain in 1964. Back home, he set up a darkroom in a convenient cellar with another keen amateur, the local postman Battista Minguzzi, and began developing and printing his own black & white work. The encounter with a local professional photographer Nevio Natali was very important: in Nevio’s studio Paolo spent many hours realising an important apprenticeship as well as a strong durable friendship. In 1970 he started collaborating with the Associated Press: on his first assignment, AP sent Paolo to cover Ezra Pound’s funeral in Venice. During the same year Paolo opened, with his friend Giancarlo Gramantieri his first portrait studio, located in Ravenna, via Cavour, 58, photographing local celebrities and their families. In 1971 he met by chance in Ravenna, Peter Knapp, the legendary Art Director of Elle magazine. At Knapp’s invitation, Paolo visited Paris in November 1973 and has never left. In Paris Paolo started working as a reporter for the Huppert Agency but little by little, through his friends, he began to approach fashion photography. The photographers who really interested him then were reporters. At that moment he didn’t know much about fashion or fashion photography. Only later he discovered the work of Avedon, Penn, Newton, Bourdin and many others. The British photographer Lawrence Sackmann took Paolo on as his assistant in 1974. "Sackmann was very difficult. Most assistants only lasted a week before running away. But he taught me everything I needed to know in order to become a professional photographer. Sackmann taught me creativity. He was always trying new things even if he did always use the same camera and flash set-up. He was almost military-like in his approach to preparation for a shoot. But he always used to say ‘your tripod and your camera must be well-fixed but your eyes and mind should be free’." Paolo endured Sackmann for nine months before starting on his own with small jobs here and there for magazines like Elle and Depeche Mode until Marie Claire published his first major fashion story. Exposed in 2008 at Rencontres d'Arles festival, France.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
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