Major cities often transform through the day. London almost feels like a different city during the day compared to after dark — and the same can be said for places like New York and Paris. It’s fascinating to study this comparison but photographer Stephen Wilkes has taken it one step further and manages to capture both day and night in the same collaged image.
In a shot of downtown New York the right side of the work is all street lighting and taxi brake lights, while the left hand side is bright and sunlit; perfectly bisected by the triangular Flatiron building. Wilkes patiently captures a city from a single viewpoint over the course of a day and then blends the images together so expertly it’s a technical marvel.
His technique covers sunbathers on Santa Monica beach while the adjacent night time funfair is abuzz with neon come nightfall. The exhibition also features other international cities including Paris, Jerusalem and Washington DC.
Our very own London has the London Eye and the South Bank lit up at night while Embankment basks in the sunshine with the ever present Thames holding apart the different times of day. One brilliant photograph captures a snow-covered Central Park from sun-up to sun-down in a sweeping panorama.
Though we’ve seen expert photo-collage from other artists such as Tom Leighton, Wilkes’s focus on the transition from day to night makes his work unique and it captures the buzz of major cities which are just as alive in both the daytime and evening.
MEKA Pop-up Art presents Stephen Wilkes: Day to Night is on at Rook & Raven, 7 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HN until 14 June. Entrance is free and the gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am-6pm.