Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Gregory Siff officially made Los Angeles home in 2009 where he has since established himself as ‘one to watch’ in the LA art scene. He has garnered a strong following among the Hollywood community as well as holding his own in the street art scene, having recently completed a collaboration with artist RISK and others within one of LA’s most respected crews, The 7th Letter. In 2011, he was commissioned to paint The Standard Hotel in Downtown LA and De La Barracuda Wall. In New York his work was featured in The Deitch Projects Art Parades, and he has shown his work in London, Dublin, Italy and Vancouver. Siff’s work has also appeared in Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Paper Mag, The LA Times, Complex and Glamour.
Back for his second RUN, we are excited to welcome back Los Angeles painter Gregory Siff as he returns again with two pieces New York Time & Places Have Souls. Read on to see past and present influences of Gregory’s, the last piece of art that he bought and more as he gives us the RUN Thru on his latest pieces…
1xRUN Thru Interview
New York Time + Places Have Souls by Gregory Siff
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about these original pieces the original still for sale?
Gregory Siff: The originals were painted on panel with acrylic, ink, pencil, oil-crayon, and paint-marker. Both are in the upcoming show I have at Gallery Brown on Oct 20. The show is entitled, Matter of Time. You can see a preview of the exhibition here.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Gregory Siff: Both of these pieces were painted earlier this year with the music of New York and LA playing in the background. References from Sinatra to Biggie to Lana Del Rey are all laced into these roads, the Sunset Strip and the Brooklyn Bridge. I get the sense that people are afraid when they see an abstract they can’t understand so I wanted to blend elements of recognizable landmarks and poetry to pull in the heart of the viewer. These pieces are what it would look like if an abstract-expressionist from the 1950’s were alive today and became fascinated with graffiti and street art. These landscapes are the result. Words scrawled everywhere, drips and stains everywhere. I just dig the panoramic view from afar, the gestures are alive, and when I move up close to them and read the little words, “It was written in the stars.” -Gregory Siff
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Gregory Siff: The panel canvases in the original were hand-made by myself! It feels so rewarding to make everything with your bare hands. It gives drive to create the best piece you have inside you.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Gregory Siff: Because it’s dope and it’s rare. Once both are gone I’ll be on to painting new landscapes. Get the majors.
1xRun: Describe the pieces in one gut reaction word.
Gregory Siff: Motion.
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Gregory Siff: Kindergarten. Then I took a break till 2006. My first piece? A portrait of my Mom and Dad and dog Peewee in front of my house made with magic markers.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Gregory Siff: Wiz Khalifa, Miles Davis, Big Sean, Billy Joel, Jay Z, Yeezy, Lana Del Rey, Beastie Boys and Nirvana.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Gregory Siff: Revok. Because the combines he is building are unlike anything I have ever seen and I like that they come from lives that have been lost. He is bringing new life into the destroyed. I’d like to see how he picks a piece of found material for those works.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Gregory Siff: Vincent van Gogh. Purely because we would get into a deep conversation over some absinthe and talk about love.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Gregory Siff: It could be a lego portrait of Basquiat by artist Plasticgod. It hangs in my room.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Gregory Siff: Your Revok 1x Sacrilege print!
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Gregory Siff: I have my solo show in Los Angeles on October 20th, 2012 at GALLERY BROWN. A deeper body of work than usual. Tentatively titled, “What Would Jesus Paint”. Also, I will be going to Art Basel in Miami with Red Bull to paint some walls and do a show.
1xRun: Where can people find you ?