By Jacqueline Tobin
The photographer discusses his new project in which he explores the concept of “changing time” in a single photograph.
Since the High Line shoot he has been all over Manhattan continuing his pursuit of what he describes as “quintessential city portraits.” They include views of Times Square, Central Park in the winter, the Flatiron building and adjacent pedestrian mall (done last year on 9/11 to capture the beams of light from the memorial), Washington Square Park (located in the heart of Greenwich Village), and Gramercy Park (a private park between East 20th and 21st streets off of Park Avenue South). What he loves about shooting in and around Manhattan, he explains, is that there is an abundance of iconic views that meld his love of pure street photography and shooting iconic landscapes.
His most recent shoot took place at Gramercy Park this past July. The foreground element of the fence was very important for him to capture, he says, because he wanted to define it as a very private park. “Developing the relationships between the foreground, the middle ground and the background are crucial here,” Wilkes explains. “I’m striving to capture the scope and the epic quality of the city and so I’m working on many different levels. It’s very challenging when you get up there because if you move a foot one way or a foot another way everything changes. It’s a structured process but it can also be a very dynamic, freefalling process. I never know who or what might appear in my frame.”
Wilkes says the nine images he’s created so far will be exhibited for the first time as a series, output at 48 x 60 inches, at ClampArt Gallery in Manhattan this month (the show opens on September 8 and runs through October 29).