Gregory Siff‘s swift rise to fame among Los Angeles’ street and contemporary artists can be explained by three obvious things you’ll notice when you meet the man and take a look at his work: talent, determination and a real good heart. The actor, writer and painter just won’t stop ’til he gets enough and we are thrilled to see what he created for “Matter of Time,” his upcoming show at Gallery Brown.
We had a chance to visit Greg’s treehouse studio in West Hollywood as he was putting the finishing touches on this latest collection of paintings on found material, handmade panel and canvas. Enjoy our interview and these intimate images captured by Melissa Preston!
LF: Can you discuss the underlying themes behind this new show?
GS: Trophies, gold, moments, time, sex, money, Scarface, idolatry, Kingdoms, fame, heart, heroes and solitude.
LF: What’s your favorite piece in this show? How did you push your art to the next level?
GS: My favorite piece is a small landscape of The Magic Kingdom in Disney World. I don’t why, I finished it just as I was loading the all of the work out of my studio to go to the gallery and because it was the last one created I have a strong attachment to it. It’s also very loose and I wrote some memories on there I don’t want to forget. Using every last second to create new work when you know you have the show completed is how I push my self. Without that, Disney World would not exist. Really.
LF: Where do you pull inspiration for the stories you tell?
GS: My Dad, love, girls, the past, the now the music that’s on. The movies I love. Moments I want to stick in.
LF: You are also an actor – describe your creative process and how you flick the switch from one Gregory to the other.
GS: Acting is painting with your face.
LF: What’s your background as an artist? When did you first pick up a paint brush?
GS: I guess in 2000. I didn’t go to school for art. I just went to museums and hung out with artists.
LF: Describe your style in less than 10 words.
LF: If you could share wall space with another artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
GS: Jean-Michel Basquiat. And we do at Gallery Brown.
LF: What’s your art world pet peeve?
LF: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
GS: Say thank you.
LF: You have a very upbeat, positive energy. What gets you going?
GS: Having a purpose, fighting the good fight. Making plans for dreams on cardboard and then turning them into real things. When I was 13 I wanted GAMEBOY so bad that I built it out of cardboard and pretended to play Tetris on it. That Christmas I got a real one. I feel like the saying is true, If you build it they will come. But you also have to get up and grab that shit too.
LF: You are part of the Creative Cartel collective. Can you talk about the way you collaborate with other artists?
GS: The Creative Cartel is what it’s like to call your best friend on the phone and say, “Hey you feel like surfing today?” It’s collaborating with the truest of hearts and best of friends all skilled in different areas. We all lead with our heart. 2wenty, MAR, Cyde One. These guys can do anything. I mean it. It’s also about giving and leaving a lasting mark in the world through art and attitude.
LF: What’s next for you after the show at Gallery Brown?
GS: Art Basel, Miami Scope show thanks to Red Bull and The Arts Fund. Then a show in Brooklyn in 2013 and the movie I wrote many moons ago, painT.
LF: How fast do you live?
GS: So fast that I’m at my show right now on Oct 20th at Gallery Brown and all my friends are smiling and laughing and we’re going to Mr. Chows!
Matter of Time opens on Saturday, October 20th from 6-10pm at Gallery Brown.