Photos by G. Art by Gregory Siff.
Some people defy labels. Gregory Siff is one of those people. His life resume shows successes in the following disciplines: singing, musicianship (playing guitar and alto-saxophone), acting, directing, painting (both as a fine artist and street artist), modeling and serving as emcee on a TV show. His art has been featured in gallery exhibitions as well as on the streets across the United States which is how I came to discover this incredibly talented Renaissance man. In addition to all these amazing accomplishments, Siff wrote a movie based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh entitled “painT.” Find out more about the project and get to know Gregory Siff a little better. I think you’ll find that his energy and enthusiasm for life are the keys to his success.
According2G: How did you get started in street art?
Gregory Siff: Two years ago I took three tubes of paint, (blue, red and yellow) and smeared them all over a big white billboard in the subway on my morning commute to work at 6am. Ever since then I couldn’t wait to get up for work in the morning. That was the first time. It became my movie poster for the film that I wrote, painT. [link will open in new window]. It’s a modernization of the life of the artist Vincent van Gogh.
A2G: You don’t use aliases and you show your face. Has revealing your identity helped or hindered you in doing street art?
GS: My tag is GREGORY. If they want to find me, they will find me. I don’t think half-covered photos of anyone is going to stop them.
A2G: In addition to making art, you sing, play guitar, alto-saxophone, act, model and you’ve been a TV show host. What do you want to try next? Do you have a “true love”?
GS: I come from the chillest parents who always believed and supported me in whatever I did. Some days I’d wake up and say “I want to be Batman for a living!” and they would be like, “Go for it!” I translated that into a passion for acting, that has now bled off into artwork, and I’m having a ball fusing the two. I love the abstract, I love movies, I love the consistency and feel of paint, and I love just being able to do that every day and not wasting time here while I’m alive. That’s true love.
A2G: As you have bases in both New York and LA, the question everyone seems to ask is “which is better.” Tell us some of your favorite and not so favorite things about LA and NY.
GS: NY is real. LA is Disneyland. I love both. Favorite thing about NY: my mom’s pasta. Favorite thing about LA: the burgers.
A2G: Who are your influences/heroes?
GS: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jose Parla, Shepard Fairey, Anthony Lister, LOUIS XXX, MAR, Curtis Kulig, De La Vega, David Shillinglaw, REVOK, Shakespeare, Bukowski, Vincent van Gogh, Alexandra Grossi, George Siff and Maryanne Siff.
A2G: Is street art a crime?
GS: Only on Fridays.
A2G: What is the coolest thing that has happened to you as a result of your art?
GS: Peter Davis at Paper Magazine saw my 3 colors on the streets of the Lower East Side and wanted to do a feature about what it all meant. [You can read the article here. Link will open in a new window.] This was a good launch for “painT.” Thanks Peter. Also painting murals for BARRACUDA on Melrose and The STANDARD, Downtown LA.
A2G: Tell us one of your wildest street art experiences.
GS: The first big wall I tagged with my last name because my adrenaline was rushing so high from the climbing and painting and pulling it off. I went back when the sun went up and noticed it! I laughed my ass off.
A2G: Open forum to say anything you want.
GS: I MISS YOU DAD!
A2G: What does the future hold for Gregory Siff?
GS: Stay in the love and laugh at the hate. I’m going to make this movie and see what becomes of all this. It’s taken some time, and that’s what I got.
See Gregory Siff’s art all over the streets across America as well as at Lab Art in Los Angeles. Follow the latest news on “painT” here. At the beginning of this article, I said that Gregory Siff defies being labeled. This is untrue and I have found one word to categorize him: INSPIRATION. Thanks again Gregory!