Artist Gregory Siff was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977. He lives and works in Los Angeles. His distinct emotionalism style merges unique elements of abstraction, pop, and action painting. His artworks are included in Swizz Beatz’s The Dean Collection, Deitch Projects, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Siren Studios, Moscow Museum of Art and in the Google HQ Collection, to name a few. We spent some time with Gregory to talk about art, and his newest collaboration with Saint Laurent.
MM: When you were a kid what forms of mediums of art were you up to?
GS: I was painting action figures to be the ones they didn’t make in the toy stores. Special Spider-Men and movie characters that didn’t exist with deco color acrylic paint pens. I’d be so excited they now existed so I’d play with the figures before the paint would dry. I didn’t care that they left paint all over my hands. I was so happy they were now real. Making things. That’s where it’s at.
MM: Do you have a favorite artist then vs. now?
GS: Basquiat, Louisxxx, Pollock, Warhol, Haring, Van Gogh. I love the artists that live Shakespearean lives.
MM: When did you know you wanted to fuse art and fashion together?
GS: When people started to stare at my sneakers. There is power in paint and how it commands attention.
MM: Where do you find inspiration?
GS: Film, Museums, Dreams etc? Yes yes yes. Mostly my life and what happens in the days and nights. I like to show that in the work, tell my story.
MM: We love the “HANDSOME” SWEATER IN BLACK AND SILVER MOHAIR AND VISCOSE JACQUARD. Can you tell us more about how the collaboration started and what made you select this graphic/design for the first piece you would partner up with Saint Laurent on?
GS: I love it too. I wore that sweater climbing a Saint Laurent billboard on Sunset Blvd and it photographs so well at night because the metallic reflective stitching reads strong. I didn’t select this piece or the way it was presented. Handsome is a favorite and a face from one of my paintings. I was in Miami during Art Basel last year and met the YSL family. This is all Anthony Vaccarello. It’s amazing.
MM: How does it feel to be tapped by Anthony for this? We want to know where you were when you found out, how you felt, what you said out loud in response?
GS: I was in LA. I opened my email on my phone. There was no sound. Just a smile that grew and wouldn’t go. I called my manager and it was very rewarding to know all our hard work is real. And it’s being noticed and called upon. Love your work. It will love you back even greater.
MM: Fashion, as it is tied to design & graphics, felt very cookie-cutter between 2005-2010. Then we started to see more artists bring art back to fashion. Can you tell us when you saw things changing and what you like about it; is there a danger of over-saturation
GS: Yes! That’s true. I saw a shift when my great brother Clyde-1 said to me “Art is the new Hip-Hop.” Having a real artist add his comment to a project, clothing, the concept opens up a pathway to communicate with the human heart. That’s why art is so important. We don’t have to worry about over-saturation because not everyone comes from this place and only strong artists who are daring enough to tell their story and are rooted in their soul can be heard.
MM: If you could help an “a star” who needs some style upgrade with a more creative twist; who would it be or can you describe the type of guy you like seeing embrace art x fashion trends?
GS: I would put a Handsome Sweater on Kanye. I respect him as an artist and think it would suit him. He definitely is on point though.
MM: Any shows in NYC/LA coming up?
GS: I am currently in Nantucket MA for my show that opens here on Aug 4th at the Samuel Owen Gallery. Then I will have upcoming exhibitions at my Dream Hotel Hollywood gallery studio space with my manager 4 AM; then shows in NYC and also in Connecticut. I’m also excited to be at Art Basel Miami again this year.