Depth Takes Time

Stephen Wilkes

Stephen Wilkes’s Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom—documenting an abandoned hospital on the island—offers a compelling look into America’s past, drawing viewers in with powerful, stirring images.

“When people look at my Ellis work, they always say there’s an intimacy in the work, and that is because of the depth of the work, and you don’t get depth in photography unless you take time. I spent five years documenting a place.”

Regarding his approach to printmaking, Wilkes explains, “I work with the state-of-the-art equipment, I do everything a certain way, and then, when I get to the print, it’s critical that all those steps get reflected in the final output, which is the print.”

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