Day to Night is an ongoing global photography project that visually narrates the events and human activity of an entire day using a uniquely innovative photographic process. The images are created by photographing from one camera angle for up to 15 hours, continually observing and capturing thousands of specific moments throughout the day and night in some of the world’s most famed locations. While photographing, Wilkes is observing the view, watching for spontaneous events occurring in the scene and narrating a visual story as the hours goes by. A select group of these images are then painstakingly blendedinto one seamless photograph over several months, capturing the changing of time within a single frame.
Equal parts documentary street photography and architectural landscapes, the images in Day to Night appear aesthetically surreal while maintaining an honest representation of the cultural influence of people in their urban environments. Earlier works in the project show the day’s transition at iconic locations in Manhattan including Times Square, the Flat Iron Building, and Central Park. Wilkes says, “I discovered that the photographs began to highlight a form of emergent behavior within the daily life of the city. Studying the communication between pedestrians on sidewalks, cars and cabs on the street, these individual elements become complex life forms as they flow together.”
As Wilkes further developed and focused his process, later images such as Jerusalem (2012) and Presidential Inauguration, Washington D.C. (2013) include thousands of people shown in the position they were at during various times of day while maintaining a seamless transition of changing light. High-traffic scenes like in Santa Monica Pier (2013) and Union Square (2014) keep the viewer engaged with countless narratives of people embracing, playing sports, sun-bathing, or hailing a cab. New pieces debuting in the exhibition include Tunnel View, Yosemite (2014) and Eiffel Tower, Paris (2014) as well as works from New York City, Israel, and London.
Throughout the history of photography, there have been artists such as Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott, and Harold Edgerton, whose processes used technology to affect the possibilities of what a single image could convey. Stephen Wilkes is taking the concept of time and changing the way we look at a single still image, fusing hundreds of moments into one seamless scene, marking a new step in the ever-evolving medium of fine art photography. Beyond the narrative of light, Wilkes utilizes customized technology to achieve large-scale prints of breathtaking clarity and detail. The Day to Night series has een featured in TIME Magazine, The New York Daily News, CBS Sunday Morning, The Telegraph UK, and countless online blogs and publications. Stephen Wilkes (b. 1957) was educated at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and featured in numerous leading publications including The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Time, among many others. Awards and honors include the Adobe Breakthrough Photography Award, 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’ work is in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Dow Jones collection, James A. Michener Art Museum, Snite Museum of Art, Jewish Museum of New York, Library of Congress and numerous private collections. Wilkes is based in Westport, CT. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 6:00-8:00pm.
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By Jim McKinniss