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David Wilkes

I was born in Manhattan, the greatest city in the world.

When I was young, my father shared his fascination with the ubiquitous New York City wooden water tanks that dot rooftops in every part of the City, and I was hooked.


There are over 30,000 of them, all built and maintained by just three family-owned companies for well over 100 years. I began by painting large canvases devoted to the majesty and solitude of rooftops. I would sneak up onto rooftops with an early girlfriend who let me borrow her camera so I could take pictures and then paint from them.


Then I noticed that what I really enjoyed was the magic of documenting these iconic, hand-built, functional structures with my camera.

I acknowledge and pay special homage here to two of my primary influences, Charles Sheeler and the photography duo Bernd and Hilla Becher.

I hope you enjoy the images as much as I do creating them.

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