Isabelle Milkoff

12″x9″; collage on paper; 2020

Isabelle Milkoff
New York, New York, USA


Doing collage echoes what I see and like in the world; its shapes, its colors, and its chaotic rhythm. I gather all kind of papers as well as pictures from magazines, newspapers, postcards, and flyers, because something in them attracts me. My collages are built in a way that shapes and colors dialogue with each other in a dynamic way, playing with frames inside the bigger frame. Often this leads to a series. I love doing series. I like to create different images on the same theme. They appear either in a spontaneous way or in relation to a theme or an idea that launched the work. I like working with all kinds of material, especially black silhouette paper cutouts because they pop out and give more depth to the images. My collages are deeply nurtured by the long history of art behind us and I am grateful to the long list of artists that inspire me. The collage world has expanded since I started to do collage and I am amazed and inspired by the creativity of the collagists whose works are on display on the web. What I like about collage is the freedom it gives. You can use anything to do collage, you can use any bit of paper you like and cut any shape you want. There is no waste–you can use everything. Each time I cut out a shape, I want to use what is left on the side. So, as many other collagists, I accumulate thousands of scraps which will find their way, at some point, in another collage. Collage is definitely a sustainable art.


After spending most of my life in Paris, France, I moved to New York in 2010 and took advantage of my new environment to change the direction of my creative work. Writing and theater were my media in France and I would do collages only from time to time. Once in New York, I had the opportunity to take many collage classes with the New York collagists Mariah Fee at Parsons and Ellen Alt at the 92Y. More recently I studied with Beatrice Coron, a phenomenal French silhouette artist based in New York and took illustration classes with Elizabeth Sayles at the SVA. Thanks to these mentors, I developed my skills and assimilated different artistic techniques. Always expanding my circle of experiences, I submitted my work to various galleries and my pieces were accepted and shown over the last six years. I also connected with other collagists and have been inspired by challenges launched on Instagram. I was among the awarded artists of the first and the latest Doug and Laurie Kanyer Challenges. Two of my collages are now included in their collection. Thanks to the first award, I met with Susan Lerner and, with her and other great artists such as Kiki Buccini and Patti Robinson, founded the NY Collage Ensemble, a gathering of New York-based collage artists. In 2020, I also received an award from the National Collage Society and my collages were part of three New York City shows. When I am not cutting, painting and gluing, I work as a French Literature and Illustration teacher at the Lycée Français of New York.


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Fragile Equilibre
10″x8″; collage on paper; 2020
What’s On Your Mind?
14″x11″; mixed media collage on paper; 2020
Women’s Power
17″x14″; mixed media collage on cardboard; 2020
The Fall of the Dow Jones
12″x9″; mixed media collage on paper; 2020