GJ Project recently had the chance to interview L.A. based but Brooklyn-born art extraordinaire Gregory Siff! GJ Project has been a huge fan of Gregory and we were so grateful for this opportunity to speak with him. Coming off of his first L.A. solo show at the beginning of March, Gregory has no plans on slowing down and we could not be more thrilled!
“G’s are lovers, they are fighters, they have real heart. It could take a long time to become one, but there is no rush.” – Gregory Siff
GJ Project & Gregory Siff:
GJ: We know you are a Brooklyn Boy born and raised and now reside in California, what do you miss most about Brooklyn and NYC?
GREGORY SIFF: I miss my Mom and her pasta more than anything. I miss the warmer ocean waters of the Atlantic. Rockaway Beach. Mister Softee Chocolate malts. I miss my room when I was I kid and all my figures and comics. I miss the streets in SoHo in the morning and all of the good friends I don’t get to kick it with as often.
** Click through to read the rest of GJ’S interview with GREGORY SIFF! **
GJ: When did you first discover you might be pretty damn good at this whole ‘artist’ thing?
GREGORY SIFF: When someone wanted to buy the sneakers off my feet.
GJ: What drove you to pursue acting and art as a career? Did you start out doing one & it influenced the birth of the other?
GREGORY SIFF: When I was 13, I saw a friend of mine on a commercial for Honeycomb cereal with Andre the Giant. That blew my mind that I went to school with a person who was on TV and hung out with WWF Wrestlers. I asked him how he did it and I worked so hard at a young age to get good at acting and cast in films, TV and commercials. It brought me to LA. Here I learned the story of loss and getting back up again. I started painting as way to make all the wrong shit that was happening into something beautiful.
GJ: Now that you have some gallery showings and solo shows under your belt, do you feel like you have ‘made it’ in the art world?
GREGORY SIFF: I’ve made paintings.
GJ: How would you describe your style and process?
GREGORY SIFF: Unfinished.
GJ: What is one thing that nobody knows about Gregory Siff?
GREGORY SIFF: I stepped on a clock with my barefoot at 5:42 am under the moon/sun after my art show, There & Back. I stubbed out a cigarette in it. That clock means a lot to me.
GJ: Now, GJ Project is based out of New York City and couldn’t make it out to your Solo Show on March 1st in California (“There And Back: LA/NY”) though we wish we could have. Were you pleased with how it went and the attention that the show got?
GREGORY SIFF: We had over 700 people turn up. Including best friends, heroes, musicians, everyone that encapsulates LA. The show sold out and I felt that everyone I miss was in that room. Even if they weren’t there, they were there.
GJ: How did “There And Back: LA/NY” compare to your last show, “G.”?
GREGORY SIFF: They were both one night only shows. There & Back was bigger and people could find it better because it wasn’t in a warehouse in Silverlake. It was at the top of Siren Studios, all of Hollywood in the sky.
GJ: I read in an interview when you explained the awesome meaning of “G.”; can you reiterate it’s meaning for GJ’s readers?
GREGORY SIFF: Being a G to me is a title one aspires to, it has to be earned, no one calls you one off the cuff. If you give back, if you respect friends and strangers, being real, and remembered. Do things for other people. G’s are lovers, they are fighters, they have real heart. It could take a long time to become one, but there is no rush.
GJ: What message do you hope people take away from your artwork?
GREGORY SIFF: That it makes them feel good when they look at it.
GREGORY SIFF: Twelve Bar represent a huge core of what I base my art on. HEART. The cats asked me to throw down on one of their shirts out of love of what I was painting and sticking up everywhere. Their motto is my motto, “It’s All Love.” Watup Nick, Dame, & Dan! It was a natural synergy working with them. I will do some more art with them soon.
GJ: Which artists / street artists do you admire and look up to?
GREGORY SIFF: RISK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ray Johnson, David Shillinglaw, Louis XXX, REVOK, 2WENTY, MAR, Cy Twombly, EKLIPS, Curtis Kulig, Nick Corradi, Mike Miller, RETNA. BNE, Vincent van Gogh, Vincent Gallo, FATE, Shepard Fairey, Jose Parla, Trigz, Saber, Push, Summer Moon, Rosie One, Varp, Dennis Hopper, Mad Steez, T$F, Smear, KR, Dan Colen, HAZE, WARHOL. I got more I just can’t think right now.
GJ: What is the difference between Graffiti and Street Art to you?
GREGORY SIFF: I don’t know.
GJ: What is your plan for the future & when can we expect to have you back home in NYC for some shows?
GREGORY SIFF: I am working everyday on a film I wrote about art called painT. It’s an ongoing painting that moves. In 2013 I will revisit my place of birth, Brooklyn, and do a show there. It’s going to be something. Maybe I will put my clock back together there.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your hectic schedule for this interview, Gregory! We look forward to working with you in the future and wish you all the best in your journeys. We especially look forward to that 2013 New York City home coming! Good luck with your clock!
To keep up with all things Gregory Siff:
– Website: http://gregorysiff.tumblr.com
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GREGORYSIFFONE
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/gregorysiff
– PainT The Movie: http://paintthemovie.tumblr.com/
– Gregory Siff Store: http://www.gregorysiff.bigcartel.com/
(Photos and rights by Gregory Siff, Listak & Birdman)