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Born in 1977 in Brooklyn, New York, Gregory Siff now lives and works in Los Angeles. He moved to the West Coast in 2009, quickly establishing himself as “one to watch” in the LA art scene, with his distinct style of hand-drawn emotionalism.
Speaking about his introduction to the art world, Siff admitted that his parents had brightly colored paintings around their home, and he was encouraged to visit museums and “do fun things”. However, it wasn’t until he left the East Coast that he began socializing with other artists and formed his own connections.
Siff’s work blends elements from abstract, pop, street, and fine art, which quickly gained interest from global brands, art collectors, and other creatives in the city. His work is often vibrant, and reminiscent of typical urban art, but commands attention in its own right, stirring emotion and discussion amongst those who view it.
Discussing his entrance to the art world, Siff recalled making his start in street art in 2009, noticing “the smiles that came from it”. He generally draws inspiration from “real life, highs and lows, and chocolate shakes”, and believes that the messages within works of art are better delivered in the environment it was created for.
Siff is also an accomplished actor and writer, and began his acting career on stage at the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. He appeared and sang in operas such as Carmen, Tosca, Lucia, and Turandot. He was also cast in the American Idol film From Justin To Kelly, where he appeared alongside Kelly Clarkson. Siff has lent his voice to the video game series Grand Theft Auto, as the voice and body of Rocco Pelosi. In 2008, he wrote and starred in The Nothing Boys, a critically acclaimed, semi-autobiographical play.
Gregory Siff’s first exhibition took place at Hollywood’s Standard Hotel in February 2006, the day before Valentine’s Day, and was titled heartfirebreathemanifesto. All proceeds from the exhibit were donated to the non-profit hip-hop collective, J.U.i.C.E. (Justice By Uniting in Creative Energy). This was the first of several exhibitions Siff has done with the Standard hotels.
Since then, his work has been exhibited in major cities around the world, including New York, London, Italy, Dublin, and Vancouver. Siff has also been commissioned for major corporations including Mercedes Benz, Christie’s, Red Bull, Vans, Tumblr, and Sotheby’s.
In Spring 2013, Siff was chosen to be an Art Ambassador for Vans Custom Culture, in order to inspire students across the US to embrace their creative side. He handpainted a pair of Vans which were then displayed at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Just a few months later, Siff collaborated with Helmut Lang and Project Angel Food, an LA-based charity helping those affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening illnesses. For this partnership, Siff painted 21 limited edition Helmut Lang t-shirts, making each piece completely unique. The shirts sold out at Helmut Lang’s flagship store on Melrose Avenue.
In 2017, Siff collaborated with another fashion house—this time, Yves Saint Laurent—offering his imagery to the brand’s Winter Women’s and Men’s ready-to-wear lines.
Many of Siff’s iconic pieces are his “storyboards”—such as his You’re The Hero Of The Story—where each image represents a moment or state of mind that he considers to be creatively or emotionally meaningful in his life. He has previously stated: “My art is feel-good art. If it’s on the canvas, it really happened.”
His artwork has been bought and included in a number of prestigious worldwide locations, including Swizz Beatz’s Dean Collection, Google HQ, Soho House New York, and Deitch Projects.