One of the most prophetic street artists in the game right now, Gregory Siff, has also been one of the busiest. When you see his work, you understand why. Everyone wants a piece of his iconic fresh art because of the simplicity in how the painter’s pieces appear. Yet, Gregory’s style does nothing less than what any significant bump in the art-time continuum has done before. He connects people. Siff’s style draws an audience so wide, from children he helps out with at grade schools, all the way to top-notch art collectors that place his pieces alongside Warhol and Basquiat. At this level, art transcends class, it transcends savy interpretation or monetary value, and becomes something much more significant. It becomes a movement.
As we said, everyone that knows about Gregory wants to be a part of this movement. So, naturally the guy is busy doing commissions, appearances, and even art battles (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, check it out here). Siff was even recently recognized on the television show Access Hollywood for one of his newest works on display at the Mondrian Hotel. Check out their shout out to him in the video here.
We were able to catch up with Gregory to do a quick little Q&A and introduce ourselves. As SAID is a small site that’s just starting out, and with zero interviews under our belt, we kind of thought it was a long shot reaching out to, in our view, one of the biggest street artists in this day and age. But, to our surprise, Gregory was quick and enthusiastic in his response, and has fully supported the growth of StreetArtIsDead.com since. We have a lot of love for the guy, and for his art, and so we wanted to get down to the basics of what makes a man like Gregory tick. These questions may seem mundane, but we see the roots and processes of an artist as some of the more interesting and important aspects.
SAID: How did you get started making art? Did you always want to create?
GS: I started out reading Spider-Man comics and collecting action figures. Todd McFarlane era [Spawn]. The painting started when I moved to LA from NY and found a release in making things when life wasn’t going as planned. Art is good at that.
SAID: Who were your inspirations when you first started out here? Who are you inspired by now?
GS: Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, RISK, Louis XXX, David Shillinglaw, Rauschenberg, Twombly, kids art. The same things that moved me then move me now. When a piece has real life in it, you can just feel it.
SAID: Do you think there was a pivotal moment that changed you as an artist, or changed the direction of your work?
GS: Each moment is pivotal. Whether you are drawing on a napkin, or painting a full-on piece for days upon days. I’m always learning something about the paint.
SAID: How did you come to the painting state you’re at now? The bright colors, abstract facial figures?
GS: The Blue, Red and Yellow feel good to look at. I equate them with passion, fire and heart. The faces become an exercise in not trying, and letting go of making things perfect.
SAID: What is your process when executing an idea? You said you try not to make things perfect, but do you at least sketch, or do you work completely in the moment?
GS: I draw it on paper in my book. Then I go and paint it. It usually looks nothing like the sketch.
SAID: Do you have a vision for the future of your art? Many designers like to come up with these grand schemes, but artistic process sometimes changes final visions. Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad, but always informative. How does this work for you?
GS: I keep painting. Using materials I normally wouldn’t use always brings me to a new place. The more I mix things up the more surprises happen. I am painting on photos now and doing abstract works on wood that are very soothing for me to create. I try to capture what is going on internally, whether I had a shitty day or I’m in love, I put a face to that experience in my work. What does it look like to feel like that.
SAID: What’s something you have always wanted to do that now, as you are becoming a successful artist, you think might be possible?
GS: I’ve been working on a film for a while now that I wrote entitled, “painT” [Follow link for movie website www.paintthemovie.com]. It’s a story about what it is like to lead a life fully committed to creating. It’s what happens when one leads with their heart and could not breathe without making things. Intense experience, from my own life and many other artists I admire, like Vincent van Gogh, are told in this story. I feel like it is necessary for people to understand where this flame burns from.
For more info on the artist check out Gregory Siff’s website and social links below. If you are interested in purchasing some of his art, pieces can be found at Gallery Brown. Check out our photo collection of Gregory’s work around LA following the links.
(Spaulding north of Melrose – West Hollywood – 2/5/12)
(Collaborative mural with Snyder – Melrose and Vista – West Hollywood – 2/17/12)
(Alley north of Melrose, east of Spaulding – Weho – 5/3/12) (Spaulding and Melrose – Weho – 1/8/12)
(De La Barracudas Gym Parking Lot – 5/13/12)
(Alley behind Lab Art Gallery – 4/10/12)
(Creative Cartel Crew collaboration [Gregroy, Mar, Twenty] - Alley wall behind Portfolio 360 Gallery – 5/3/12)
(Gregory Siff - Gallery Work)
(Gregory Siff – Stickers Around LA)