Artist Spotlight – An Interview with Isaac Wolfe

The People Series by Isaac Wolfe

Tell us about the art we are showcasing. What materials did you use? What were your intentions? What emotions and messages were you exploring?

“The People” series is meant to showcase people from all different walks of life, whether it be a movie star, a meteorologist, or a customer service representative. I like to exaggerate aspects of them, play with stereotypes, or create new perspectives through each of these collages, and I do this while adding some vintage flair to each piece.

In terms of materials used, I work with both Canva and Photoshop to isolate images and   create collages for this series. My intentions are to drink wine or beer and keep my head clear of expectation. It’s important to me to leave expectation at the door, and I oftentimes drunkenly find my way to a finished product. Creating these collages keeps the murderous mundane from gnawing away at my mind, so it’s vital for me to stand back and let the work flow.

The Movie Star
The Music Fan

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What is your background? What activities and communities are you involved with other than art? Also, please tell us about your pets if you have them.

I run an Instagram broadcast of poetry posts and collage work called “Wolfe & Whine” from the confines of Syracuse, NY. (It isn’t really a broadcast; I just like to call it that.) Outside of writing poetry, drinking, and creating collage art, I wander the streets in introspection, gather myself to work at my mind-numbing, stress-inducing job, and find moments in-between to keep at this thing called living. Oh, I also frequently read. It helps keep the mind’s instruments tuned as we compose ourselves alongside this strange symphony called dying. I guess in terms of other activities, I would also add ruminating on mortality as a hobby. (*Cue laugh track.) But if I can break away for a moment and be sincere, art, whether it be collage art or poetry, that’s really my whole life. Everything else is a hiccup in-between.

Where do you find inspiration when it comes to your art?

For “The People” series, I find inspiration from vintage ads, comics, pop culture in general. But inspiration can come from black dabs of sidewalk bubblegum, or the feeling of loneliness – or solitude, depending on the mood – of a corner bar stool. It can come out of spite over work life, or the joy of simple moments that ease the clamps of living. I can’t quite pinpoint with any accuracy where it all comes from. I just try to pay attention and listen.

The Customer Service Representative

How has your style changed over time? Are there any styles or modes of art you’d like to try in the future?

My first several collages were a mixture of analog and digital and more chaotic in both process and presentation. “The People” series is cleaner and more refined, but there is something about the technique used in those old pieces that I would like to revisit. Experimenting with cut-out poetry and implementing that into my collage work would have me howling as well. I’ve done it briefly in the past, but I think creating more with that combination in mind could really add some fireworks to the fire.

Are there any societal issues or conflicts that you find yourself drawn to in regard to creating art?

The only conflict I am drawn to is the one occurring within myself, right now. If it wasn’t for that hellfire shrapnel grazing my cheekbone, then perhaps I wouldn’t be creating anything at all. Art is how I combat life’s external and internal forces; it is the only means by which I stand a fighting chance. I am not here to save the world through my work. My work is an attempt to save myself.  

The Science Fiction Fan
The Optimist

Isaac Wolfe is a charismatic deadbeat and occasional observer of life. If asked for enlightenment, he will point to the obituary section of the local newspaper; for knowledge, to the mechanic, carpenter, electrician, plumber, or tradesmen; for life advice, perhaps the town drunk or an overpass bum or a man who has just lost his love. His bucket list includes bar brawling with Bukowski, painting by numbers with Van Gogh, and people watching with Picasso. His collage work has been published by Wild Roof Journal. You can follow him on Instagram at wolfe_writes.