Hance Partners/Image Craft
We were pleased to welcome photographer Stephen Wilkes, who flew in from his home base in Westport, CT to work with our master printers here at Hance Partners/Image Craft, in our Phoenix facility from August 17-19th. Stephen came to work with us in creating match prints for four of his newest images in his incredible “New York: Day to Night” series of iconic New York cityscapes. This amazing body of work includes views of Park Avenue, looking south towards the Met Life building and Grand Central Station, Gramercy Park, and a most breathtaking and absolutely intriguing image of Coney Island. Shown below is Stephen’s image of Central Park in winter.
Stephen’s Day to Night images are almost unbelievable when you realize that he spends up to 15 hours in a cherry picker lift truck making as many as 1,000 images throughout the day. Through days and weeks of post production he not only chooses the exact place in time to illustrate the day to night transition, but also layers individual images that he made throughout the 15 hours on location into the final presentation, thus creating the perfect New York narrative and most stunning example of contemporary art.
Hance Partners master printer Richard Jackson has been printing Stephen Wilkes’ fine art prints for the past 13 years. Richard and his staff collaborate with Stephen to produce his works of Ellis Island, Bethlehem Steel, China, Hurricane Katrina and many more. They are sold in fine art galleries, museums, and to collectors worldwide. Stephen makes the effort to come to Hance Partners/Image Craft because of our trademark collaborative working style.
“When I first contacted Richard 13 years ago to work with him on my Ellis images, he spent the first 30 minutes asking about my artistic intent before we discussed the details of a particular image”, Stephen says. “That was the first time a printer ever tried to get into my head about my vision before the first test print was made”. Regarding their ongoing professional relationship, Stephen adds, “Richard and I have learned how to speak the same language and, thus, the translation of my vision to finished print is perfect in every way.”
The prints were made on Fuji Flex, which is a Fuji Crystal Archive emulsion on a polyester base. This presents a very high gloss, deep color saturation and a very dimensional look to the print. The files were enlarged on a Durst Lambda digital enlarger, producing prints ranging in size from 48 x 60″ to 40 x 80″. We used a custom mounting technique, which starts with mounting the final prints flush to 1/8″ white plex. We then polished the edge of the white plex and then mounted a smaller piece of 1/8″ clear plex to the back. The final mount is to a white substrate larger than the print, creating a white border with the print floating off the surface, which helps to create a more dimensional look to the finished piece. This complex mount is then framed in a 2″ deep frame for final presentation. We’re looking forward to seeing the final exhibit, once all of the prints have been hung in the gallery for public display.
Stephen’s exhibit, “New York: Day to Night”, which includes the latest creations, runs from September 8, through October 29, 2011 at ClampArt Gallery in New York City. The show then moves to Santa Fe’s Monroe Gallery in the spring of 2012. The exhibit has garnered extensive media coverage already, weeks before the official opening.