On the surface, Lisa Wolfin is an international artist, but based on my dabbling in the higher mysteries I expect she may also be something of a werewolf. Wait, though; it gets better-
Her background is incredibly impressive and easy to find details about on the internet, but it took me a while to figure her out. Longer than the others, because what I do when I’m writing about artists is look for the hidden things, secret intentions; things that you otherwise might not see and try to put a light on them without running my mouth. Lisa’s artwork is prosaically enigmatic because of course it is: she knows more about art than normal people can hope to. She’s lived immersed in art across continents, in various cultures, peddling her crafts on the side of the road and also working on a world stage, in fashion, in design, and in Fine Art. So what is the hidden thing, when your career has been so successful and public?
I think I figured it out: Lisa Wolfin has a rare ability, that normal non-werewolf people don’t have: she doesn’t see art as ‘art’, she sees blank space, and has an otherworldly ability to figure out what belongs in it. I see the evidence in the way she fails to be able to draw blank faces when she sketches fashion models, which is the typical way to do so. Little known fact about werewolves is that mannequins are their ancient enemies. It’s true, look it up. The trait there, is that she sees when things are missing. She understands what goes where.
Now, with that said, we have misinformed preconceptions about werewolves, naturally, but what I think is the most agreed-upon thing about them is that they’re very good at looking after their pack. Lisa is a werewolf among artists while having a career rivaling the best of them, and she has also divided her time between her own work and facilitating the work of her like-minded brethren. Artists are shy creatures. We need someone creating opportunities for us. Art is about community; it’s like a pack. A wolfish, canine, Wolfin kind of pack.
She also has an unusual ingenuity about her, which I reckon is her human side. She can think about things in an uncommon way. For instance, when I look at a blank page I see two-dimensional white clay that is going to obey me because I’m stronger than it is. And I’m very pleased with myself whenever I muscle an empty space into saying what I want it to. Lisa is, just as much as she is an artist, an entrepreneur because she doesn’t see a canvas or a white wall as a battle of wills, but rather as limitless opportunity for herself and the people around her. She could fill all the empty spaces with her own work, easily, since she has the Wolfin were-range of five humans. There has not been a space invented that Lisa cannot create for and fill on her own, but sometimes the opportunity is larger than her by herself, and she finds what fits there is someone else. I think, if you really want to know the measure of a person’s impact in the art world, you really ought to count their friends, and the people who show up, year after year, to work beside them.
She sees the space for what it could be. As an appropriate example, she found a vacant convention center and filled it with scores of internationally acclaimed artists, thus, Art Vancouver.
So, every year, in May, at the beautiful seaside venue in the heart of the city, when she’s not looking after the rest of us, she’ll be available to talk about her work and the limitless opportunity she sees in empty space.
Images copyright by Lisa Wolfin
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