Still, Life

Stephen Wilkes' images are rattling, sublime

New York photographer Stephen Wilkes has a mantra, it’s that “as individuals, we can make a difference.”

His latest collection, Remnants, unveiling this Friday at Monroe Gallery, explores the phrase further with a series of images that shine an eerie and at times ethereal spotlight on environmental remnants often left behind by man.

"Working as a documentary photographer over the last several years, I've witnessed the remnants of man-made and natural disasters," Wilkes says in his artist's statement. "I've photographed the dismantling of our factories, the residual remains of our acts of war, and the world's biggest landfill. From the largest oil spill in American history to the greatest hurricanes ever to hit the east coast, I have documented the objects that we as a species leave behind."

As such, images like that of a lone television set in Bay St. Louis, Miss., post-Katrina, and details of the magnitude of materials at commercial recycling plants, like the one pictured, have emerged.

Remnants' intent, Wilkes says, is to offer a broader vision of the modern face of environmental impact, often widening the lens with which these events are reported in mass media, thus offering "the true scale of devastation."

"Remnants is a compilation of images that brought something more to the experience than just the act of documenting. Many of these images reflect a post-apocalyptic quality: a mixture of beauty, history and loss," the artist continues. "It is my hope that these images inspire all who view them to recognize that our fragile world is in great danger of irreversible change."

5-7 pm Friday, Oct. 2
Monroe Gallery of Photography
112 Don Gaspar Ave.,

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