Harry Seymour: How did you get in to being an artist?
Gregory Siff: My mom is so cool. She and my dad have paintings of colour all over the house. I always went to museums and was encouraged to do fun things, but It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles from New York that I started hanging with artists and found the connection in my own life to record it and put it down in paint.
HS: What inspires your work?
GS: Real life, highs and lows, and chocolate shakes.
HS: How has your work evolved?
GS: Paint every day and create something new. It is through this practice that the hand gets sharper and the heart stronger.
HS: How do you feel about the blurred lines between street art and gallery art?
GS: I started putting work in the street in 2009 and saw the smiles that came from it. I feel like street art always delivers its message better in the environment it was made for. Of course it looks beautiful on the walls of a gallery but when it is discovered along your day and catches you, that’s where the power is.
HS: What’s been your favourite collaboration so far?
GS: Saint Laurent was a very rewarding experience. My favourite though is Mercedes Benz. I’ve painted two G550 Wagon’s, one black with diamond dust and one candy pearl purple and white. I also transformed a Metris Van into an ice cream truck. It was cool driving that baby around Los Angeles for a summer.
HS: What has it been like collaborating with Dream Hollywood?
GS: It is a story that unfolds daily with new friendships and being present on the property From Avenue, the nightclub where my biggest painting hangs, to the 4AM Gallery which is like a clubhouse now of rad people that share a common interest in art; it is a great spot that makes me want to share more of my work in different places in the Hotel.
HS: How did this exhibition at 4AM Gallery come about, and what was your focus behind it?
GS: I was having my solo show in downtown LA last summer when we were approached by a member of the Tao Group. They wanted to add a large canvas to their Avenue Nightclub. My manager Lisa worked with them to create a bigger opportunity, where I could have my own space in the hotel to create and exhibit, adding to the experience of the guests.
HS: What do you love most about LA?
GS: Sunset Blvd. The all-knowing Palm Trees. Chateau Marmont, Laurel Canyon. All the good ones! And the certainty that this city is where I found my hands doing what they were meant to do.
HS: Do you collect art yourself?
Some of my best friends are artists and I’m lucky to say that I have trades, gifts and pieces in my collection that keep them with me. When I am alone, the energy of the pieces that hang in my private tree house studio make me feel like those friends are with me. They are the burning candle in the room with me.
HS: And finally, what’s next?
GS: Art Basel Miami, lots of new work and goodies to share. Then, in January, I am going to Palm Springs for solid block of time to paint paintings the size of garage doors…
Words by Harry Seymour and Gregory Siff
Gregory Siff’s residency at Dream Hollywood will run until the end of the year, with new paintings and apparel being introduced during the artist's stay. The studio is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 – 11 p.m. and by appointment during the day.