ARTIST: GREGORY SIFF
PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAUL ROMO
Brooklyn born Visual Artist and Designer Gregory Siff believes that we’re all brothers and sisters especially in art.
The Saint Laurent collaborator who is famous for his pop-at and abstract expressionism works talks to us about art, his paintings, his projects, and more things about art.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life as an artist. Who was the first artist that made a big impression on you? Who was the last artist to make a big impression on you?
The first artist to have an impact on my life is Vincent Van Gogh. The meaning in his Irises. I went to the Getty Museum with my mom 18 years ago and she overheard the tour guide explain to a group that Vincent painted himself as the one lone white iris among all the violet ones to represent him in the asylum, being mad like all the other violet patients, except different. This showed me that the meaning in the paint can tell lives that lived long after they leave. This shook me. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Louisxxx also from New York made me feel like I had a story to tell through paint and there would be someone to fall in love with it.
Since collaborating with fashion companies, what was the biggest surprise that came out of this for you?
I guess it’s really cool to know that the same person that collects artwork would also be willing to buy the leather jacket that you painted and hang that on the wall as well. The function of the jacket is fashion until you wear it ; on its own on the wall - there comes a great source of energy.
What was it like collaborating with Saint Laurent?
It was like flying. They are the best. The pieces came out sharp. I would love to make more with them.
What has been the most challenging piece you've worked on so far?
When I decided to put my life story into 118 elements of the periodic table and figure out how this self-portrait would translate into all of the moments of my life, that was crazy. It was in the Portrait of an American Ice Cream Man exhibition in Downtown LA.
In your career as an artist, what is your most proud moment so far?
Knowing what it feels like to feel the burn of selling a painting that attaches to you spiritually. When I feel that I know I’ve made a good painting.
Do you have a favorite piece you've worked on? How would you describe your style?
I have about 5 favorites. One in particular is an abstract called Prayer. Made with only blue, red and yellow ink. My style is art that comes out of a necessity to feel good. Feel good art.
Is there a distinction between "good" and "bad" art to you? What project are you working on now?
I like the art that people live through. If it’s decoration or a little too highbrow sometimes it could be misconstrued as bad art but all art is good. The fact that human beings have found a way to share their idea of what this crazy world is and what we are going through and find a commonality in expressionism is my favorite thing.
We’re all brothers and sisters especially in art. I am working heavily in my notebooks at the moment gearing up for a show in 2018 in New York City.
Book you are currently reading?
Self Portraits, a Taschen book.
Top 3 songs on your playlist right now?
Baby I’m dying, LolaWolf,
I’m just snacking, Gus Dapperton
GORGEOUS, Kanye West
If you're going to be a book, what book will you be and why?
Letters to a young poet by Rainer Maria Rilke because that’s the whole point of this life.
If you're going to have the chance to support any charity/ organization/person, what/who would it be and why?
I work with a lot of charities, every one of them are just as important as the next. human life arts programs homelessness children in hospitals all of these things need our attention and especially bringing our world back to a more peaceful climate.