Colorado Creatives

Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Gary Isaacs

#31: Gary Isaacs

Photographer Gary Isaacs, whose work has appeared in Westword's pages over the years, qualifies as a Denver legend: Known for his gritty street portraits and ethereal photographic dreamscapes, Isaacs follows his muse down Colfax Avenue and into the dark hearts of local musicians and urban characters. “I've never been the kind of guy who had a ‘day job,’ and have always found a way to turn whatever I was truly inspired by into a fulltime gig,” he says. “For the last thirty years ‘photography’ has been my passion, my vocation and a spiritual path all in one.” We asked Isaacs to answer the 100CC questionnaire, though it’s clear he’d rather let his images do the talking. Read on.

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Gary Isaacs: I consider it all to be "history,"  which is to say that i consider it all to be "in the past."  That said, Haruki Murakami — he’s one of my favorite writers, and the written word greatly inspires me as a photographer.   
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Though I keep my distance, I'm fascinated by my next-door neighbors to the north. We’ve been neighbors for ten years or so and there's just something about them. To me, they don't look like they belong together — biologically, demographically, philosophically or in any way at all.

It's like they're a bunch of strays holed up together, and they're always looking around like they're expecting something to happen or change. It’s like they're waiting for something. I find them curious, for sure.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

I truly don't have an opinion about things like this .

What's your day job?

I've been a self-employed photographer for about thirty years. 

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

Hire a fulltime staff.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Put the pied pipers in prison.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?


What's on your agenda in the coming year?

Travel, books, T-shirts and stickers.

Who do you think will get noticed in the local art community in 2015?

I wouldn't know, but I imagine that it will be a genius with good hygiene and a nice smile.

Gary Isaacs might or might not have something to do with Month of Photography 2015’s The Little Picture, visible in random places throughout some of Denver’s seedier neighborhoods. See more work by Isaacs online
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd